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by Jason Warburg

This summer the Institute received a bequest of more than $4.5 million from a trust established almost 50 years ago by Samuel F. B. Morse, the legendary founder of Pebble Beach. The bequest, the largest single gift in the Institute’s 63-year history, will establish a special fund in Morse’s name to support student scholarships, academic programs, and other priorities of the Institute.

After Morse’s death in 1969, the trust established in his will provided income to his heirs until the passing of his longest-living child, Mary Morse Shaw, who passed away in April at the age of 97. At that time, the remaining funds were divided between three educational institutions—the Middlebury Institute, Yale University, and the Stevenson School in Pebble Beach.

Morse was an early supporter of the Institute, and as it grew he underwrote the loan to purchase the former city library, now the Segal Building, the first permanent home for the Institute. In his role as president of the Monterey Foundation, he supported grants to the Institute. After his death, his family remained involved with the school during its formative years.

“We are honored and deeply grateful to Mr. Morse and his family for believing in the Institute’s mission during its early years and for planning to provide generous support well into the future,” said Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton. “This fabulous gift will be applied to our highest priorities—student scholarships and immersive learning opportunities—and also used to explore new avenues and approaches in teaching and learning.”