September 7, 2016

Librarian leaves $4 million to the University of New Hampshire


Frozen dinners were just one of the ways that a librarian was able to save $4 million, which he then bequeathed to the library.

Frozen dinners were just one of the ways that a librarian was able to save $4 million, which he then left to the library.

In news that will make you feel simultaneously touched and despondent over the state of your retirement account, a librarian has bequeathed over $4 million to his longtime employer. Harriet Sinclair at the International Business Times reported on the generous gift.

A librarian has bequeathed his entire $4m estate to the university that employed him for almost 50 years. Robert Morin (known as Bob) died in 2015, having spent the past five decades of his life working at the University of New Hampshire, where he had also studied. He then chose to remember the institution he had spent almost a lifetime in, via his will.

According to Kimberly Haas at the New Hampshire Union Leader, Morin saved the money through good old-fashioned simple living.

Morin’s financial adviser, Edward Mullen, said the library worker was able to accumulate so much wealth because he never spent any money. Mullen started working with Morin in the early 1970s, and said by the 2000s he had saved quite a bit of cash in his checking and savings accounts. There was almost $1 million in his retirement account alone.

Mullen said Morin had an older vehicle and, despite being a millionaire, he ate frozen dinners.

“He never went out,” Mullen said.

Simple living is one thing, but what do you do for fun on such a tight budget?

Morin was an avid reader. Mantz said he read, in chronological order, every book published in the United States 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.

Morin also had a passion for watching movies. From 1979 to 1997, he watched more than 22,000 videos, Mantz said.

Citing a claim that Morin became a massive football fan in the last two years of his life, UNH is using $1 million of the money to pay for a video scoreboard for the new football stadium. Scoreboards aside, Morin’s generosity should make an appreciable difference to the students.

The only dedicated gift in Morin’s bequest was $100,000 for Dimond Library. That money is earmarked to create 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.

UNH President Mark Huddleston said Tuesday that $2.5 million will help launch an expanded and centrally located career center for students and alumni.



Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.