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Utica College receives largest bequest in school history

By Eric Reinhardt


Utica College President Laura Casamento on Wednesday said the college has received $2.35 million from the Lotis B. Howland trust, representing the largest bequest in the school’s history and its biggest single cash gift. (Photo provided by Utica College)

UTICA, N.Y. — The Lotis B. Howland trust has donated $2.35 million to Utica College (UC), representing the largest bequest in the college’s history.

The gift is also the biggest single cash gift in the college’s history, UC said in a news release.

“Ms. Howland’s generosity will enrich the Utica College community and positively affect the educational experience for current and future generations of UC students in many ways,” Utica College President Laura Casamento said.

Paul Steates, Howland’s attorney, said that Howland died last October at the age of 98. Born in Mt. Vernon, Georgia, she moved to Utica and was married to Alfred Smith, and after his passing, she later married John Howland.

“With no close relatives … she established a trust and felt it was important to give back to the Utica community. She worked closely with my late law partner, Robert Remmell, UC class of 1954,” Steates said in the school’s release.

Specifically, her gift will “support several important” initiatives at the college, including an expansion of the Gordon Science Center and a new Inter-Cultural and Student Organization Center.

The bequest will also support a series of initiatives aimed at helping students to graduate on time, will allow for technology upgrades in more than 40 classrooms, and will fund additional safety improvement on campus.

Utica College will add the final piece to the college’s endowment fund, per the news release.

Steates said several other local charities will also benefit from the trust, although the largest share was donated to the college.

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