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Wilson College receives $4.3 million bequest

12 members of Appenzellar-Buchanan family attended Chambersburg college

12 members of Appenzellar-Buchanan family attended Chambersburg college

November 19, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- When Margaret C. "Maggie" Appenzellar, of Chambersburg, died Oct. 9, Wilson College became the beneficiary of the generosity of three members of her family -- 12 of whom attended Wilson -- through a gift of $4.3 million to support the new Brooks Complex for Science, Mathematics and Technology.

Appenzellar, who graduated from Wilson College in 1954, was the 11th in the Buchanan-Appenzellar family to earn a degree at Wilson. She and her two sisters, Anne Appenzellar, Class of 1945, and Jean Appenzellar, Class of 1947, shared a deep affection for their alma mater. Through the years, the three sisters cared for each other as they aged. Each passed her estate on to the surviving sister, with the understanding that when they had all passed on, Wilson College would be the primary beneficiary.

"We are so grateful for this truly transformational gift, which came to Wilson is such a remarkable way," said Wilson President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson. "A strong spirit of generosity and love for Wilson was shared by these three sisters."

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Maggie Appenzellar, who was born in Chambersburg and, like her sisters, grew up here, had returned to her hometown more than a year ago after living and working in Brooklyn.

The Appenzellar sisters' mother, Anna Buchanan Appenzellar, graduated from Wilson in 1913, and both of their grandmothers graduated from Wilson: Anna Eckhart Appenzellar in 1876 and Minnie Clark Buchanan in 1880.

In addition to the Appenzellar sisters, their mother and grandmothers, two cousins and four aunts also earned degrees at Wilson College.

The latest gift is not the first contribution made by the Appenzellar family, according to Edmundson.

"Their love and support for Wilson College carried on through the years and involved gifts large and small, from a sterling tea service to the Appenzellar-Buchanan Dance Studio, which was established by Jean Appenzellar with a gift to our last capital campaign in 2000," Edmundson said.

The latest gift will have a total impact of $8.6 million because it will be matched by Wilson graduate Marguerite Brooks Lenfest, Class of 1955, and her husband, H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. The Lenfests established a $10 million challenge grant to encourage support of the sciences at Wilson.

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