The Sage Colleges received a $9 million bequest for a new campus library, the Times-Union reported on April 19. The college had no idea the gift, the second largest in the school’s history, was coming.
Lucile Rosenfeld Shea attended Russell Sage in 1937-1938, and had donated modestly since. Shea was so private that school officials only know a few details about her life, according to the Times-Union. She was an education and social sciences major at Russell Sage, then changed to liberal arts and English. She loved flower arrangement and books about gardening, cooking, and history. Her husband died in 2003; they had no children.
The money will go toward a total renovation of the Troy Campus Library, which had already been identified as a priority need for capital improvements, in anticipation of a fundraising campaign for Sage’s centennial in 2016. It will now be called the Shea Learning Center. In addition to the library, the learning center will house what the college called “complementary offices and services for academic enrichment,” such as the Donnelly Center for Undergraduate Research.
Shea’s gift will also be used to create a library endowment to fund educational programs, lecture series and community outreach; updated technology, media and software; professional programs for faculty and continuing education for librarians; and special collections, particularly those that support new and specialized degree programs. The new learning center café will be named Lucile’s, in honor of the surprise benefactor. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2013.