News and analysis
February 06, 2011

No. 46: Bion R. Cram

Amount donated in 2010: $21.5-million

Biggest beneficiary: Fryeburg Academy

Other key beneficiary: Bowdoin College

Donor’s background: Mr. Cram was a retired stockbroker who had worked at Spencer Trask & Company, and Shearson Loeb Rhoades, both in New York.

Mr. Cram, who was 93 when he died in 2008, left about $11.5-million to the Fryeburg Academy, a private school in Maine. Mr. Cram stipulated that about half of the money be used to endow scholarships, and the other half should go to support resources such as books, laboratories, and upkeep for the library, which the academy had named for Mr. Cram in 2002 after he donated $500,000 for a new building.

A scholarship student and 1933 graduate of the academy, Mr. Cram came to the school’s rescue in 2005 when, after a fire destroyed the institution’s gymnasium, he promptly donated $3-million to rebuild it. The donor also bequeathed $10-million to Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, Maine, for a professorship in economics and for scholarships. Mr. Cram graduated from Bowdoin in 1937 with a degree in economics.

— Maria Di Mento

View more profiles of donors who gave the most in 2010.