Three months ago, Paul Smith’s College announced that it would become Joan Weill-Paul Smith’s College in exchange for a $20 million gift from the Weill family. The re-branding was contingent on a New York State Supreme Court decision about whether or not the change would be allowed by the college’s charter, though.
Earlier this month, the court issued its ruling and the school’s name will remain the same, but the Weill family’s donation will not be made.
In the wake of the court’s decision that a name change would violate the college’s charter, it was announced last week that the Paul Smith’s College Board of Trustees, President Cathy S. Dove, and the Weill family would not appeal the ruling.
North Country Now quoted Board of Trustees chairman Philip E. Saunders as saying, “Despite our continued confidence in the merits of [the $20 million donation and name change], we believe that an appeal would ultimately be counterproductive for students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”
According to CCNMoney, $10 million has been donated by the Weills over the past 20 years, and the campus building that includes the student center and library is already named for Joan Weill.
Alumni and supporters of Paul Smith’s College are working on raising money to help the school recoup at least a portion of the $20 million donation that was rescinded. One alum suggested that 1,000 donors give $1,000 each while another family has “pledged to match every dollar donated by current students with a $10 contribution, for up to $1 million,” CNNMoney reports.
“Just as we experienced incredible generosity from Joan and Sandy Weill, we now have new donors stepping up to help in such a critical way,” President Dove told North Country Now. “We have a lot of hard work to do, but I believe in our community and know that we’re charting a strong future for Paul Smith’s College.”