Apocryphal story about Lord Wolfson

As retailed by my father:

Leonard Wolfson and his parents – he was their only child – were founder trustees of the Wolfson Foundation in 1955. Endowed with £6 million worth of GUS shares, its objectives were the advancement of health, education, science, the arts and humanities. The trust multiplied in value more than a hundredfold, and its website now records that funds stand at £750 million, with more than £1 billion (at current values) having been given away.

Among the most notable of the beneficiaries are Wolfson College, Oxford, which was jointly funded by the Ford Foundation and founded in 1966 with Sir Isaiah Berlin as its president; and Wolfson College, Cambridge, which opened in 1977.

Bumptious Jewish tradesman rolls up to ancient university.

\”I\’d like to make a donation\”.

\”How excellent\”.

\”You\’ll have to name the new college after me\”

\”New college? No, no, we\’ll add a wing or a library to one of the existing ones\”

\”No name, no new college, no money\”.

\”Well, umm, how much did you say you wanted to donate?\”

\”mutter mutter\”

\”What did you say your name was?\”

6 thoughts on “Apocryphal story about Lord Wolfson”

  1. I played bridge with Leonard many times in the seventies. He was very enthusiastic, but his daughter Janet de Botton was many leagues higher

  2. please change my earlier comment to ….his daughter Janet de Botton IS ……

    thank you

  3. I played bridge with him many times in the seventies. He was a very enthusiastic player, but his daughter, Janet de Botton, is in a different class entirely

  4. I’m sure there must be better punchlines?
    “How are you spelling that?”
    “What departments would you like?”
    “And a chair for Mrs. Wolfson?”
    “Did you want rooms with that?”

  5. So Much For Subtlety

    Michael Jennings – “Indeed. There are three people with colleges named after them in both Oxford and Cambridge: Lord Wolfson, Mary Magdalene, and Jesus Christ.”

    Although they both have a Pembroke. Different Lords I guess. Cambridge produced Pitt the Younger. Oxford Michael Hestletine. I’d say that Cambridge had it except that Honeysuckle Weeks went to Pembroke (O).

    But Lord Wolfson has someway to go because Oxford has two colleges named after the same person. So he needed to endow another. So does Cambridge I suppose.

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