Colby-Sawyer receives largest donation in history, boosting endowment about 20%

  • Sonja and William Davidow have given a $10.2 million gift to Colby-Sawyer College in New London, N.H., which will increase the school's endowment to nearly $57 million. (Courtesy Colby-Sawyer College)

Staff Report
Published: 1/21/2021 10:01:05 PM
Modified: 1/21/2021 10:01:01 PM

NEW LONDON — A California couple is giving Colby-Sawyer $10.2 million to help the New London-based school boost its endowment and invest in faculty and financial aid.

William and Sonja Carlson Davidow met about 65 years ago while she was attending Colby-Sawyer and he was a student at Dartmouth College.

The gift, the largest in Colby-Sawyer’s 183-year history, is helping the college’s endowment grow by about 20%, to $57 million, Colby-Sawyer said in a news release on Thursday.

The money will help fund endowed faculty chairs and scholarships, and could also bring in an additional $5 million through matching gifts, the college said.

The Davidows have also designated $500,000 for a fund to maintain the college’s Davidow Center for Art + Design, and another $500,000 for an endowed scholarship fund.

William Davidow, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in electrical engineering from Dartmouth, along with a master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from Stanford University, helped launch Hewlett-Packard’s first minicomputers. He later served as a senior vice president at Intel Corp. and co-founded a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

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