News and analysis
February 06, 2012

No. 40 (tied): Charles E. and Mary Jane Spahr

Kansas University Endowment Association

Amount donated in 2011: $32-million

Beneficiary: University of Kansas

Donors’ background: Mr. Spahr was chief executive of Standard Oil of Ohio, in Cleveland, from 1959 to 1977.

Mr. Spahr, who was 95 when he died in 2009, and his wife, Mary Jane, who was 94 when she died in 2010, left $32-million to endow the University of Kansas, in Lawrence. Earnings from the money will support the university’s School of Engineering. The couple had previously given the institution a total of $13-million.

Mr. Spahr graduated from the university in 1934 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and Ms. Spahr was a member of the class of 1938 but did not graduate. Mr. Spahr served on the Board of Trustees of KU Endowment, the fundraising and endowment-maganagement arm of the university.

—Maria Di Mento

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2011