Woman gives $1 million to alma mater Bridgewater State

Andrew J. Manuse

A local woman and native of Cape Cod committed $1 million to Bridgewater State College as part of her estate plan and separately set up a scholarship program for students from Cape Cod.

Carolyn (VanBuskirk) Turchon, who graduated with a bachelors' degree in education from Bridgewater in 1962, did not designate a purpose for her $1 million deferred donation, but said Friday that she would. If a purpose isn't dedicated, the money will go into the college's endowment fund, the college said.

"I'm thanking the college now for what I've received over the years and investing in the students who come along for the future of the college," said Turchon, a Natick resident. "I value my education ... All the benefits you get from education compound over the years - it gets better and better."

Turchon, who ended up in real estate, said teachers can do a lot of different things with their lives. She advised future Bridgewater students to be flexible in their careers.

"Fifty years ago when I graduated from high school, my graduation address was about the importance and value of higher education," she said. "It costs a lot of money, but there's a lot more to it than that."

Molly Fannon Williams, vice president for institutional advancement, said Turchon is currently president of the Bridgewater Alumni Association and a "very active member" of the Class of 1962. She's also on the Board of Trustees of the Bridgewater State College Foundation, which accepts philanthropic gifts for the college.

"She's been involved in a networking capacity with her classmates for many, many years," Williams said about Turchon. "We try to enable a lifelong relationship with our alumni and she's a classic example of that."

Turchon, who is a native of South Yarmouth, said she gave Bridgewater money separately to set up a scholarship fund for students from Cape Cod who attend the school. She wouldn't say how much she devoted to the fund, but said $25,000 is a minimum requirement.

Bridgewater State College President Dana Mohler-Faria recognized Turchon's gifts at the school's winter commencement ceremonies held yesterday evening.

"Countless generations of Bridgewater students will benefit directly from (Turchon's) pledge," Mohler-Faria said in a prepared statement. "As we move forward into our comprehensive campaign for academic excellence, her leadership will be an inspiration to others committed to supporting the future of excellence at the college and in the region."

Andrew J. Manuse can be reached at or 508-626-3964.

MetroWest Daily News