Long-Time Librarian Surprises UNH with $4 Million Gift

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

DURHAM, N.H. – Robert Morin ’63 worked as a cataloguer in Dimond Library at the University of New Hampshire for nearly 50 years. Although known to live simply, few knew he had quietly amassed a $4 million estate and gifted it to his alma mater until he died a little over a year ago.

“Bob’s demonstrated commitment to UNH through his philanthropy is tremendously inspiring,” said UNH President Mark Huddleston. “His generous gift allows us to address a number of university priorities. As an alumnus Bob would be pleased to know that a majority of his estate, $2.5 million, will help to launch an expanded and centrally located career center for our students and alumni. We are committed to providing the resources needed to ensure every student achieves professional success and Bob’s gift will play a major role in that effort.”

Another $1 million will support a video scoreboard for the new football stadium. In the last 15 months of his life Morin lived in an assisted living center where he started watching football games on television, mastering the rules and names of the players and teams. He had a passion for watching movies and from 1979 to 1997 he watched more than 22,000 videos. Following this feat, he switched his attention to books. He read, in chronological order, every book published in the U.S. from 1930 to 1940 – excluding children’s books, textbooks and books about cooking and technology. At the time of his death he had reached 1938, the year of his birth.

The only dedicated gift in Morin’s bequest was $100,000 to Dimond Library. It will provide scholarships for work-study students, support staff members who continue their studies in library science, and renovate and upgrade one of the library’s multimedia rooms.

Deborah Dutton, vice president for advancement and president of the UNH Foundation, noted that Morin’s gift is especially powerful and tremendously helpful. “Unrestricted gifts give the university the ability to use the funds for our highest priorities and emerging opportunities. This is an extraordinary gift that comes at a critical time for launching a number of initiatives that are only able to move forward because of his generosity.”

The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 13,000 undergraduate and 2,000 graduate students.