NORTHFIELD, Vt. (AP) – Norwich University has gotten $13 million in a pair of gifts, one of them the largest in the college’s history, a spokesman said.

“This creates a tremendous energy,” university spokesman Dave Caspole said Sunday. “Seeing two gifts like this is a natural progression of the relationship the university has been able to build between its alumni.”

A $7.4 million gift from the estate of former trustee Henry Prescott Chaplin is the largest single gift the Northfield university has received, Caspole said. The Chaplin gift surpasses a $7.25 million gift made in 1996.

Chaplin graduated from Brown University but served on the Norwich University board of trustees from 1952 until his death in 1962. A major benefactor before his death, he served as Norwich’s commencement speaker in 1953, the same year Chaplin Hall was dedicated on the university’s campus.

Caspole said Norwich learned of the gift after Chaplin’s son and only heir, Peter Geoffe Chaplin, died unexpectedly in April, while living in Europe. The gift was a surprise to university officials, he said.

The university also received a $5.6 million trust from the estate of Frank Chase, who graduated from Norwich with a degree in civil engineering in 1928. Chase died in 2001.

Both gifts were made without restrictions, Caspole said. The Chaplin gift will be used at the discretion of the university’s board of trustees. The Chase trust will be used to create endowment support for academic programming.

Caspole said the gifts will assist Norwich, the oldest private military college in the country, in developing the university’s academic programs.

AP-ES-07-19-04 0813EDT

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