News and analysis
February 06, 2012

No. 36: Barbara Dodd Anderson

Courtesy of the George School

Barbara Dodd Anderson, seated, left $31.4-million to the George School, a Quaker boarding and day school in Newtown, Pa.

Amount donated in 2011: $35.2-million

Biggest beneficiary: George School

Donor’s background: Ms. Anderson was the widow of John S. Anderson, president of Associated Brass Products, in Pinedale, Calif. Her fortune primarily came from stock in Berkshire Hathaway, the insurance and investment company founded by Warren E. Buffett.

Ms. Anderson, who was 78 when she died in November, left $31.4-million to the George School, a Quaker boarding and day school in Newtown, Pa. She placed no restrictions on how the money could be used, so George school officials have decided to devote half of the bequest to endow and increase faculty and staff salaries. The rest will pay for athletic facilities.

A 1950 George School alumna, Ms. Anderson gave the institution $128.5-million in 2007 for financial aid, staff and faculty salaries, and school programs.

Her commitment over the years to boost the salaries of faculty and other George School workers came from her desire to honor those teachers and other staff members who helped her through a difficult period in her life. As a young girl, her mother fell ill and her father sent her to live at the school so she wouldn’t be alone. Ms. Anderson’s father was David Dodd, an economist at Columbia University’s business school, who had been Mr. Buffett’s professor and became an early investor in Berkshire Hathaway.

Ms. Anderson also left $3.8-million to endow a professorship at Columbia Business School.

—Maria Di Mento


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