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Donor Stories

Donor Stories

We'd like to take a moment to honor the memories of two longtime members of the Keene State College community: Bartlett C. Swett '56 and Mary C. Leonard, a 21-year staff member who worked in the Office of Disability Services. Bart and Mary each left substantial estate gifts that will benefit Keene State students far into the future.

  • Bartlett C. Swett '56
    Bartlett C. Swett '56

    Bart Swett, an educator and arts lover, passed away on February 6, 2017. As a young man, he acted in musical comedies, ultimately deciding to go on for a doctorate at Penn State instead of taking up an offer to perform on Broadway. In retirement, he owned and ran an antique shop in St. Petersburg, Florida.

    Bart left a bequest totaling $477,637 to establish the Dr. Bartlett C. Swett '56 Visual and Performing Arts Endowed Scholarship. "I know the population of New Hampshire," he told Keene State Today back in 2014. "I know there aren't very many wealthy people, and I know it's difficult for a lot of students to get through college. I thought, I won't be able to do a lot, but I can help some students."

  • Mary C. Leonard
    Mary C. Leonard

    Mary Leonard had an arts background as well. With a degree from the Boston College of Music, she taught piano and voice in Walpole, New Hampshire, where she lived. At Keene State, she worked with students with disabilities; those students, and the College community, became like family to her. Jane Warner, director of Disability Services, said "Mary cared very deeply and passionately about the College. For her, the creation of these scholarships continues her legacy of good work and caring."

    Mary dedicated $200,000 from her estate to establish two endowed scholarship funds for Keene State students: the Mary C. Leonard Endowed Scholarship for Students with Disabilities and the Jim and Mary Leonard Endowed Scholarship in Music.

  • Marion T. Wood Society
    Marion T. Wood Society

    "On behalf of the institution, I honor the lasting legacy of Mary and Bart," Interim President Melinda Treadwell said in tribute. "Each was an inspiration and an essential, beloved member of the Keene State College community. I am ever grateful for the lifetime of service and their generosity to Keene State that will ensure their legacy lives on."

    Both Mary and Bart, through their estate commitments, were members of the Marion T. Wood Society. Over many years the Keene State Advancement staff helped to keep them in touch with the College. To learn more about the Society and about planned giving at Keene State, visit Keene.edu/Marion Wood Society or call 603-358-2372.