For Jeanine Starrett ’50, the opportunity to pay it forward to other students from Maine came with a piece of land and a sudden idea from her husband, Peter.
“As a former scholarship and aid recipient at Colby, I had always wanted to give back,” said Jeanine, who established the Fenwick-Starrett Scholarship Fund in 1996. “Peter and I had purchased a lot in Prescott, Arizona, several years earlier with the intention of retiring there. When we chose to stay in Phoenix, we decided to sell the lot. One day Peter surprised me by suggesting we give the lot to Colby. I was moved and delighted by his suggestion and quickly agreed.”
The Starretts transferred ownership of the lot to Colby, which hired a realtor, sold the property, and added the value to Jeanine’s scholarship fund, then provided a gift receipt to the Starretts for tax purposes. This saved the couple the time and trouble involved in selling real estate in another town.
“An unexpected bonus was that my scholarship fund, doubled or more in value, was now large enough for me to specify a preference class as recipients,” said Jeanine. Born in Searsmont, Maine, she designated the scholarship to aid students from Maine.
"Although Peter makes regular contributions to Tufts, his alma mater, he has a fondness for Colby, partly as a result of the very pleasant alumni reunions we have enjoyed as Colby guests since reaching the 50th reunion point.
“During my days at Colby as part of the first post-World-War-II class, we had the sulfur smell from the paper plant, the constant trains, and the forbidding old buildings downtown. We sang our way up to Mayflower Hill as the new campus began to take shape. First we went for just a few classes at the new library, then we settled in permanently as Mary Low and Louise Coburn dorms opened.”
A history major at Colby, Jeanine was active on campus through the Debate Team and the Echo. After a stint in the U.S.
Navy, she earned an M.Ed. from Arizona State University and has worked as a teacher and a school librarian. She has been active in civic and education issues all her life.
Jeanine and Peter still have family in Maine and return each summer to visit and to attend reunion. Jeanine also is a long-time member of the president’s leadership societies. “Today the constantly growing campus and evolving programs at Colby are amazing and wonderful, and I’m happy to play a small part to help Maine students experience the miracle of Colby,” she said.
To learn more about how your inspired gift can make a lasting impact on generations of Colby students, please contact the Office of Gift Planning. Call Susan F. Cook ’75, P’11, at 800-809-0103, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.colby.edu/willows.