On August 5, we mourned the loss of H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Throughout the years Gerry and his wife Marguerite ‘55, a Wilson graduate, have left a legacy by their generous donations throughout the years to Wilson.
In 2000, the Lenfests sold their cable company to Comcast. Since selling it, Gerry and Marguerite devoted themselves to philanthropy. In their philanthropic efforts, Wilson became one of their major benefactors. The Lenfests donated to over 1,100 organizations.
Over the years, the Lenfests donated over $41 million to Wilson. They have supported numerous projects and campaigns such as the Single Parent Scholars Program, the Wilson Fund, scholarships for students, unrestricted endowment, faculty development and facility renovations. Gerry and Marguerite left nothing untouched in ways of giving on this campus. Being devoted to students was a priority to them.
In June of 2017, the Lenfests were named recipients of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. This medal is given to outstanding philanthropists who symbolize the ideals of Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie’s philosophy was that people with an overabundance of wealth should put it toward the good of the people.
Marguerite remarks in the acceptance speech upon receiving their medals, “We have and are continuing to try to be in this direction by contributing to education from early childhood to the institutions of higher learning and to supporting faculty development.”
Throughout the years, the Lenfests have left their mark on Wilson. Not only are their contributions to the college benefiting students now, but they will also benefit future students as well. Gerry will always be remembered here for his efforts of philanthropy to this college. It is people like Gerry who make the world a better place. Giving to institutions like Wilson allows for a better future for students and faculty. Gerry’s impact will forever live on at Wilson by the lives that will be touched by his and Marguerite’s efforts.