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Donors Give $3.2 Million to Radcliffe

Money to Go to Murray Center for Research on Women's Life Experiences


Anonymous donors have given a $3.2 million endowment to a Radcliffe research center that studies how social change impacts individual women's lives.

The Henry A. Murray Research Center, which was founded in 1976 by Radcliffe President Matina S. Horner, specializes in "longitudinal studies," or analyses of women's experiences across their entire lifespans.

The grant--the largest the Murray Center has received for at least eight years--will support ongoing research endeavors, enlarge the center's staff and increase ties between the center and undergraduates, Horner said in a written statement.

The endowment comes from the family of a former radcliffe trustee who served on the college's governing boards for almost 20 years. The family has asked to remain anonymous, Radcliffe officials said.

"It's a major gift that's going to make a major difference in terms of the extent of the programs," said Aida K. Press, director of public information for Radcliffe.

"Every institution [at Radcliffe] is in need of money," said Anne Colby, director of the Murray Center. The gift "means that we will have the money to support more research. Doctoral candidates who want to use our data can be provided with funds or small grants. We can have lots more workshops and education programs on people."

But Colby said the center cannot go ahead with its plans without approval of Radcliffe's governing board.

"We have lots of thoughts about what programs we want. We would like to expand. We have proposals. But the final decision about what to do with the money will be up to the Radcliffe Board of Trustees," said Colby.

Amey DeFriez '34, chair of the Radcliffe Board of Trustees, could not be reached for comment.

Before the Murray Center, most longitudinal analyses had been conducted on men's lives, Horner said in the statement.

"We believed that if social and public policy were to be more responsive to the realities of social change, longitudinal data [on women] would be essential, as would research on the lives of women and their families," Horner said.

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