The College received one of its largest individual gifts ever through bequests from the estate of the late Ethel K. Allen. Provisions in her estate to distribute more than $16.5 million to various campus units include the following to the College:
- A chair established in the Department of Plant Pathology with an endowment of more than $4.9 million.
- An O.N. Allen Professorship in soil sciences with a $2.47 million endowment
- More than $825,000 to the College for internship grants
- More than $412,000 to the department of bacteriology for graduate student grants in aid
- More than $412,000 to the CALS Dean’s office for the Daughters of Demeter Education Fund, which awards merit scholarships
- An unrestricted endowment of more than $825,000 to Steenbock Library
- More than $825,000 for an endowment for upkeep of the Allen Centennial Gardens. A gift in the 1980s from Ethel Allen was instrumental in the creation of the gardens, which are named for Ethel and her late husband, Oscar K. Allen, who died in 1976.
Allen received two UW-Madison degrees: a 1928 bachelor’s degree in botany and a 1930 master’s degree in bacteriology. She also received an honorary doctorate from the university and was a faculty member for many years. She married Oscar Allen, an eminent UW-Madison bacteriologist, and together they co-authored the de facto “encyclopedia” on the role of legumes in nitrogen fixation: “The Leguminosae, a Source Book of Characteristics, Uses, and Nodulation.”
More on the Ethel Allen bequest is available at the UW Madison news site.