Friday, November 21, 2008

Oldest School in Maine Receives Largest Single Gift in its 217-Year History

Berwick Academy Head of School, Greg Schneider, recently announced that the Academy has received the largest single cash gift in its 217-year history. The bequest totals $3.5 million dollars, and has been left to the School with no restrictions. The gift speaks to the passion of Berwick alumni, a group that the institution has been engaging with renewed vigor in recent years.
Berwick Academy was named a beneficiary to the estate of Helen Hasty Perreault, widow of Berwick Academy alumnus, Victor Perreault ‘33. Victor was a Navy veteran of World War II, and he spent the bulk of his career as a proofreader at a government printing office in the Washington, D.C. area until his passing in 1962. His widow, Helen, continued to live in Arlington, Virginia, until her death in the summer of 2007. Helen was an editor at the Bureau of National Affairs and a member of the Maine State Society, a “home away from home” for Mainers living and working in the Washington area.
Born in South Berwick, Maine, Helen had three siblings who, like her husband, are Berwick Academy alumni. She is survived by her sisters Zana Littlefield ’35, of Ogunquit, ME and Carolyn Bragdon ’49, of Wells, ME. Her brother Wesley Hasty ’41, of South Berwick, passed away in December 2001. Mrs. Perreault’s decision to donate to Berwick in honor of her husband, reflects their great commitment to the community of South Berwick and Berwick Academy.
Head of School, Greg Schneider commented, “The Perreault bequest is transformational for the Berwick Academy community on many levels. It embodies the lasting power of the Berwick experience, and it is inspiring to see an alumni family moved to make such an extraordinary planned gift. This gift, the largest single gift in the School’s 217-year history, sets the stage for additional gifts of this significance in the future. Beyond the immediate financial impact of the Perreault bequest, it has served as a catalyst for the Board of Trustees to discuss increasing financial aid resources.”
Founded in 1791, Berwick Academy is an independent, coeducational country day school located in South Berwick, Maine.
Caption: Victor and Helen Perreault (Courtesy photo)