Submitted by Patricia M. Allen

March 3, 2008
Contact: Caroline Jenkins Hanna
Director of Media Relations


AMHERST, Mass.— Dwight Goldthorpe, an Amherst College alumnus who died last year, has left his alma mater $23 million for the school’s campus. Representing two-thirds of the donor’s residuary estate, the bequest is the single largest in Amherst’s history. 

Goldthorpe, the 1941 Amherst graduate who made the bequest, was a private investor for many years. According to his wishes, his gift will be used to enhance Amherst’s physical plant, either for the addition of a new facility or for the expansion of an existing building.

“We are incredibly grateful for Mr. Goldthorpe’s generosity,” said Amherst College President Anthony W. Marx. “His support will enable us to further improve our campus and, in turn, help us recruit the most promising students, faculty and staff. The gift is a wonderful legacy, and will be forever beneficial for future generations of Amherst undergraduates.”

Goldthorpe graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pa., and enrolled at Amherst in the late 1930s. During his college career, he played squash, managed the varsity swim team and was a member of Theta Xi fraternity. He went on to spend one year at Harvard Business School, and then entered the Navy during World War II. Upon his discharge from the military, he took a job on Wall Street, but shortly thereafter became a private investor. He retired to Palm Beach, Fla., in the early 1950s, becoming a tennis champion at many of the local social clubs over the next several decades. He left no living family members.

Goldthorpe participated in few formal Amherst class gatherings since he graduated, but he did regularly attend football games at his alma mater’s Pratt Field, following the team with a passion. His bequest follows a long line of alumni and friends who have made Amherst college facilities possible; two such benefactors include Adam Johnson for whom Johnson Chapel was named in 1823, and Daniel B. Fayerweather, for whom Fayerweather Hall was named in 1893.