Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, February 27, 2015

Auctioning Bequest Creates Controversy for Gordon College

Gordon CollegeWhen a wealthy family bequeathed a collection of rare Bibles and Shakespeare folios to Gordon College in 1922, there was one caveat: the works must remain with the school. 

When a descendant of the late collector Edward Payson Vining learned that Gordon plans to auction off ten percent of the 7,000 volumes, he was shocked.  “I know [Vining] would want the books to be there,” said Vining’s great-granddaughter, Sandra Webber. 

The planned sale has spread unease among the campus, leading some faculty to question the leadership of the college’s president, D. Michael Lindsay.  The administration was left out of the decision to auction off the works.  Yet, some administrators say that selling a portion of the collection is necessary to afford preserving the rest of the books.

Meanwhile, the collection is listed in a full-color advertisement of the auction house Doyle New York.  The auction has been scheduled for April, but the college postponed it until the fall.

See Laura Krantz, Gordon College’s Bid to Auction Books Creates Uproar, Boston Globe, Feb. 26, 2015.


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