The bequest is from the late Jereld R. Nicholson of Dufur, who graduated in 1939 with a degree in history. The bequest was unrestricted and will be placed in the college quasi-endowment, with the ultimate use to be determined by Linfield's Board of Trustees.
"Mr. Nicholson's generosity will have a significant impact on Linfield College for generations to come," said President Vivian A. Bull in making the announcement. "By making his gift unrestricted, Mr. Nicholson has provided the college with the flexibility to use the money where it will best enhance our mission and the education of our students."
Nicholson was born July 31, 1914, in Wasco County and grew up in Boyd and Dufur. At Linfield, he majored in history and was a member of the Iota Omega Mu fraternity. After graduating, Nicholson returned to Dufur and operated and eventually owned the Underhill Ranch.
Nicholson remained an avid promoter of Linfield College in Dufur and encouraged qualified students to attend. He also made regular contributions to Linfield College up to his death in June 2002.
"Mr. Nicholson put his own gifts to use in the service of others," said Richard Ice, chair of the Board of Trustees. "Like many others who have attended Linfield College, he was from a modest background and was the first in his family to attend college. He supported Linfield in a meaningful way throughout his lifetime and his generosity, through this bequest, will benefit countless students in the future."
Nicholson's gift is the largest bequest and second largest gift ever received by Linfield College. The Hewlett-Packard Company is the single largest contributor in the college's history with the donation of 81 acres of land to the college, valued at $7.9 million.