|Carole and Marcus Weinstein Donate $2.2 Million to Davidson College;
Gift Names Building and Honors Former President Sam Spencer ’40
September 08, 2009
Contact: Stacey Schmeidel, 704-682-2629
Davidson, NC--Carole and Marcus Weinstein, of Richmond, Va., have made a $2.2-million gift to Davidson College. The gift was announced at a faculty meeting on Tuesday afternoon.
In announcing the gift, Davidson President Tom Ross said, "This gift from Carole and Marcus Weinstein is an extraordinarily generous commitment at a key moment in the life of Davidson College. The Weinsteins' gift recognizes the longstanding importance of excellent academics and the student experience at Davidson."
Marcus Weinstein noted, "This gift is an acknowledgement of the outstanding education that Davidson has provided for generations of students, and it is also an investment in the college's future. In particular, I hope that this gift will support Davidson's ongoing efforts to bring to the college the most talented students from all backgrounds, so that bright young people can engage with and learn from a broad spectrum of their peers."
In recognition of the Weinsteins' support, the portion of the dual-purpose Duke Residence Hall that houses Davidson's Dean Rusk International Studies Program will be named the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Center. As a further recognition of the generosity of Carole and Marcus Weinstein, the Dean Rusk staff offices will become known as the Spencer Office Suite, named for former Davidson College President Sam Spencer '40 and his wife, Ava, who are good friends of the Weinsteins.
As a third component of the Weinsteins' gift, the main lobby of Chambers, Davidson's main classroom and administration building, will be named the Spencer Lobby, to honor the former president and his wife. The Weinstein Center, the Spencer Office Suite and the Spencer Lobby will be dedicated on November 10.
Carole Weinstein noted, "We are particularly pleased that these gifts honor our good friends Sam and Ava Spencer, who have done so much to enhance the learning environment at Davidson. Under Sam's leadership, Davidson significantly increased its global reach-establishing a landmark international studies program-and opened its doors to bright young people with diverse backgrounds from all over the United States and the world. We are delighted to recognize Sam and Ava in two buildings that serve as prominent gateways between the college and the world."
During his tenure as Davidson's president, from 1968 to 1984, Spencer was a strong supporter of international studies at the college. He helped establish the Dean Rusk International Studies Program, which was founded in 1985. Spencer also encouraged the recruitment of underrepresented groups, including ethnic minority students and international students.
Sam Spencer joined Tom Ross in thanking the Weinsteins for their generous support of Davidson. "This gift from Carole and Marcus will do much to support our students academically for decades to come," Spencer said. "And to have our names assigned to the central entry of the college is a gift beyond any other."
"Sam Spencer has done so much for Davidson College," said Davidson College President Tom Ross, who graduated from Davidson in 1972 and was a student at Davidson during Spencer's tenure as president. "I cannot express how pleased I am by this recognition. I'm delighted, too, that the Weinsteins chose to recognize Sam's wife, Ava, alongside her husband. Together they have given so much to Davidson, and we are grateful that Carole and Marcus have seen fit to honor them in this way."
The Weinsteins' relationship with Sam and Ava Spencer dates back more than 25 years. In addition to the current gift, the Weinsteins have established the Spencer-Weinstein Scholarship in honor of Sam Spencer.
Marcus Weinstein currently serves on Davidson's Board of Visitors, a group of distinguished friends and supporters who advise the college on strategic matters.
Marcus and Carole Weinstein are well known in Richmond and in Charlotte. Marcus Weinstein began his career in real estate in 1952, building single-family homes primarily in the Richmond area. A decade later he expanded into the apartment and commercial real estate markets. He established Weinstein Properties (formerly known as Weinstein Management Company, Inc. or WMCi) in 1975 to consolidate the management of his extensive real estate holdings throughout Virginia. Today, the company owns and manages 12,000 apartments in Virginia and North Carolina. The company owns and manages 10 Bexley apartment communities in the Charlotte area, including Bexley at Davidson.
Marcus Weinstein holds a B.A. degree from the University of Richmond. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce degree from the university in 2003.
Carole Weinstein earned B.A. and M. A. degrees in English from the University of Richmond. She served on the university's Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1992, and in 2004, the university awarded her an honorary doctor of letters degree.
Together, Carole and Marcus Weinstein have been very active in community philanthropic endeavors in Richmond and beyond. They have been leaders in developing academic programs, student scholarships, faculty support and campus buildings at the University of Richmond, and have also provided important support to the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the Jewish Community Federation, the Richmond Jewish Community Center (which was renamed for the Weinsteins) and many other local organizations.
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.