Paul Smith's College in upstate New York has announced that the State Board of Regents has approved its request to add Joan Weill's name alongside that of the school's founding family in recognition of her longtime support. Pending approval of the name change by a New York State court, Joan and Sanford Weill have pledged $20 million to enable Joan Weill-Paul Smith's College to increase the size of its student body.
As a board member, Joan Weill spearheaded the school's conversion to a four-year institution, and as an emeritus board member she remains active as a fundraiser. Over the past twenty years, the Weills have contributed nearly $10 million and helped raise almost $30 million more for the school. Those efforts have resulted in a new campus library, a refurbished and remodeled student center, and two endowed scholarships. The Weills also have endowed a broad range of initiatives at the school, including programs to introduce prospective students and faculty nationwide to the school's Adirondack setting and its innovative curriculum, which ranges from environmental science, forestry and sustainability to hospitality, culinary arts, and restaurant management.
"The Weills' support positions Paul Smith's to share our passion for learning, our tradition of academic excellence, and our excitement for the future with students across the globe in ways never before possible," said Cathy S. Dove, the school's president. "Their gift will play a critically important role in our future as we navigate the fiscal challenges so common to academic institutions today, while the prominence and respect of the Weill name will help to elevate our college’s profile around the world and open doors to new opportunities for growth and academic achievement."