in Bennington, Vermont, has announced gifts of nearly $6 million from alumna and longtime supporter Penelope Perkins Wilson ('45) and the Los Angeles-based for campus renewal and preservation.
Wilson's gift of $5.8 million will support the college's campus renewal program, which includes renovating and repairing academic buildings and student housing, landscaping and rebuilding paths and roads, and implementing an energy conservation program. The funds will also be used to redefine the future use of the commons building and expand Crossett Library. "Penny helped us look at the campus as a complex system instead of a patchwork of ideas," said college president Elizabeth Coleman.
Wilson's gift comes on the heels of a $150,000 to Bennington from the Getty Foundation for the survey, assessment, and historic documentation of campus facilities. The grant will support preservation efforts that complement the school's long-term master plan, completed in April 2004, by assisting the liberal arts college's efforts to identify and realize future capital initiatives. Students will participate in the two-year project, set to begin in October, throughout its research and documentation phases.
"Bennington College has a passion to preserve the integrity of its historical structures," said Joan Goodrich, vice president for planning and special programs. "The Getty Foundation's campus heritage grant will allow us to continue Bennington's tradition and mission, because everything is a classroom here, from our buildings to our lawns. The campus aesthetic is inseparable from our intellectual mission."