Suffield Man Supports Hometown Students
Thanks to Samuel J. Orr Jr., deserving high school students from his hometown of Suffield will have a chance to attend the University of Connecticut.
Orr, who graduated from UConn in 1940 and earned a law degree from the University in 1961, created a Charitable Lead Trust that will generate $1 million over the next 10 years in support of the Samuel J. Orr Scholarship Fund. It will provide scholarships for undergraduate students from Suffield and Suffield County.
A Charitable Lead Trust provides income for a set period of time. At the end of the trust's term, the principal reverts back to the donor or the donor's family.
"I wanted to give something that would start while I'm living, rather than wait until my death," said Orr. "In a little town like ours, especially, a very high percentage of the students would appreciate - and need - a little financial help. Most of them want to go to college."
Last year, Orr committed $3 million to endow a Charitable Remainder Trust to provide funds for scholarships after his and his wife's lifetime. A Charitable Remainder Trust provides a payment to the donor each year, with the remainder of the trust's principal going to UConn after the donor's lifetime.
"I had a scholarship to help me when I went to UConn, and I worked in the college cafeteria," he said. "I managed to get through, even though it was the tail end of the Depression."
His gifts underscore the University's commitment to helping deserving students who don't have the financial means to attend UConn.
"Sam's additional contribution is extremely generous and will have an immediate impact in helping us to deliver on his commitment," said Edward T. Allenby, vice president for institutional advancement and president of the University of Connecticut Foundation Inc.
Orr attended graduate school at the University of Kentucky, where he studied agricultural economics. During World War II he served in the Army's Quartermaster Corps, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He worked for the UConn Agricultural Extension Program and the Shade Tobacco Association and the Connecticut-Massachusetts Tobacco Cooperative.
After he earned his law degree, he practiced law in West Hartford and Suffield and was a probate judge. He was also a restaurateur: along with his stepson, he co-founded the Bugaboo Steakhouse chain, which was sold to another steakhouse chain four years ago.