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McDaniel College announces largest bequest for scholarships in the College’s history

April 29, 2013

Approximately $6.7 million from the estate of 1891 alumnus Philip Henry Dorsey of St. Clements Bay, Md. (St. Mary’s County), will be used to establish an endowment for scholarships. McDaniel has received a check for more than $975,000 as the first installment of the gift with much of the estate coming in the form of property.

According to McDaniel President Roger Casey, “That the family descendant of an alumnus from over 120 years ago made a commitment to transfer Mr. Dorsey’s legacy so that another century of students can attend this college is a remarkable testament about the life-changing power of a McDaniel education.”

Philip Henry Dorsey was one of 18 students to earn a bachelor’s degree from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel) in 1891. Total enrollment of the college then was 154, and the faculty included the college’s namesake William R. McDaniel, professor of mathematics and astronomy.

After graduation, Dorsey returned to St. Mary’s County, Md., where he helped to manage farmland and spent much of his life involved in the buying and selling of crops. He never married and was beloved by his nieces and nephews.

Elizabeth *Betty* Grice Helms, current trustee of the Dorsey Trust and Dorsey’s great-great niece, presents McDaniel President Roger Casey and McDaniel College Board chair Martin K. P. Hill with the first installment of the Dorsey Trust gift.
Elizabeth “Betty” Grice Helms, current trustee of the Dorsey Trust and Dorsey’s great-great niece, presents McDaniel President Roger Casey and McDaniel College Board chair Martin K. P. Hill with the first installment of the Dorsey Trust gift.

Upon his death in 1945, Dorsey’s will established a trust fund to provide scholarships for his descendants to attend Western Maryland College (now McDaniel). To date, five of his descendants have earned degrees from the college ranging from the classes of 1948 through 1962. The college has researched the Trust and its ongoing provision to fund scholarships for Dorsey’s descendants and worked with its trustees to manage the transfer of funds.

Elizabeth “Betty” Grice Helms, current trustee of the Dorsey Trust and Dorsey’s great-great niece, said, “It’s my honor to complete the wishes of ‘Uncle Phil’ and his descendants.”

 

 
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