Colby-Sawyer College recently inducted four new members into its Legends Society in honor of their extraordinary philanthropic giving to the college. This year’s inductees, Thomas and Judith Csatari, John and Heidi Grey Niblack ’68, David and Beverly Payne, and the Pussycat Foundation, were recognized during a joint celebration of the society, as well as the successful completion of the Power of Infinity Campaign — the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in Colby-Sawyer history.
The Legions Society, which was established in 2003 and now has 71 members, recognizes donors who have contributed $1 million or more to Colby-Sawyer throughout their lifetimes. These donations help ensure the college’s future success while also providing the necessary support for today’s students to prosper.
“Gifts from individuals, families, businesses and foundations have propelled Colby-Sawyer forward and spurred innovation during every stage of the college’s history,” said Peter Volanakis, chairman of the college’s Board of Trustees and a 2018 Legends Society inductee along with his wife, Cathy. “It is the support of all of us, with gifts at all levels, that together make it possible for Colby-Sawyer to thrive.”
Thomas Csatari — who joined the college’s Board of Trustees in 2015 — and his wife Judith have quickly joined the ranks of the college’s most loyal and committed supporters, making strategic and forward-thinking investments to Colby-Sawyer. The Csataris established the Gladys A. Burrows Distinguished Professorship in Nursing in honor of Judith’s mother, and were generous supporters of the new Davidow Center for Art + Design. Furthermore, the couple has named Colby-Sawyer as the beneficiary of a Charitable Remainder Unitrust in support of the Power of Infinity Campaign.
John and Heidi Grey Niblack ’68 have supported Colby-Sawyer’s highest strategic priorities for years, most recently through their early support of new Davidow Center for Art + Design. In recognition of their giving, the John and Heidi Grey Niblack ’68 Black Box Theater was named in their honor. Also, in conjunction with Heidi’s 50th reunion, the Niblacks established a $500,000 endowment fund to support student internships and engaged learning opportunities. The Niblacks have been faithful leadership donors to the Colby-Sawyer Fund for decades, and have joined the college’s Heritage Society by making provisions for Colby-Sawyer through their estate plans.
David Payne — who served on the college’s Board of Trustees from 2006-15 — and his wife Beverly have made a significant impact on Colby-Sawyer by investing in a number of capital projects, including the Windy Hill School and the new Davidow Center for Art + Design. The Paynes are also faithful supporters of student scholarships and the Chargers Club, encouraging others to give to the Colby-Sawyer Fund. In addition, through their careful planning, the Paynes’ generosity will benefit the college for years to come by virtue of a planned gift to be made through their estate.
The Pussycat Foundation awarded $1.2 million to Colby-Sawyer in 2018 in recognition of the college’s selection as one of six members of the BOLD Women’s Leadership Network. BOLD cultivates leadership in young women by facilitating opportunities for career development and networking through scholarships, financial support for community-based projects and internships, and fellowship grants upon graduation.
“Each of the new Legends inducted this year have made a significant impact on the future of Colby-Sawyer, investing in the college’s most important priorities and unique strengths,” said Dan Parish, vice president for College Advancement. “As a group, they have made major investments in facilities, scholarship support for our students, and engaged learning opportunities including internships and field studies experiences. We are so grateful for all they do for Colby-Sawyer.”