Grace Groner was exceptionally restrained with her money.
Her one splurge was a small scholarship program she had created for Lake Forest College, her alma mater. She planned to contribute more upon her death, and when she passed away in January, at the age of 100, her attorney informed the college president what that gift added up to.
“Oh, my God,” the president said.
Groner worked for 43 years as a secretary at Abbott Laboratories. In 1935 Groner bought three shares of Abbott stock at $60 a share. Abbott became an incredibly profitable global pharmaceutical company. Abbott developed the first HIV screening test in 1985. It also markets the painkiller OxyContin. Groner never sold her stock and reinvested the dividends on it.
Groner, who never married, died in January. She was 100 years old.
Groner’s generosity to Lake Forest will fund about $300,000 a year in scholarships. She also left the college her one-bedroom house.