On the occasion of his birthday last month, friends of investment banker Herbert A. Allen ’62 established a scholarship fund at Williams to honor his loyalty and friendship.
The College each year will award scholarships from the fund, with preference given to students of high talent and achievement who reside in the general geographic vicinity of the college. This includes western Massachusetts, northwestern Connecticut, eastern New York State, and southern Vermont.
The effort, organized by Tom Brokaw of NBC News without Allen’s knowledge, has so far raised $800,000 in gifts and pledges from about two dozen donors from the fields of entertainment and technology, only one of whom is a Williams alumnus.
“Herbert is so generous and loyal as a friend all of us were grateful for the opportunity to honor him at his beloved alma mater,” Brokaw said.
As president and CEO of the New York City investment firm Allen & Company Inc., Allen has been deeply involved with the communications and media industries. He has long maintained a home in Williamstown.
“I can think of no better way for Herbert Allen’s friends to honor him than by following the strong example he has set of giving to those in need,” Williams President Carl W. Vogt said. “Herbert’s often quiet philanthropy, his love of Williams and his dedication to this region are all bound up wonderfully in this creative gift, which will enable local students over the years to benefit from a Williams education.
On behalf of those students, our deep thanks go to Mr. Brokaw and his fellow contributors and to Herbert for inspiring such a gift.”
Williams admits students without consideration of their financial situation and promises to meet the demonstrated financial need of every admitted student for four years. More than 40 percent of students receive Williams-based aid, including grants that typically run $17,000 per year.