$6 Million Gift From School Teacher/Ranchers
MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine has received nearly $6 million from the estates of two South Florida cattle ranch owners, Harriet Weeks and her daughter, Robin Weeks. This is the largest private gift ever received by the College.
Harriet and Robin were both schoolteachers and part-time ranchers until Robin's father and brother passed away after running a 300-head cattle ranch. Harriet Weeks died in February 2005 and Robin Weeks died shortly thereafter. The majority of their estate assets consisted of agricultural real estate in Glades County.
Glades county commissioner Donna Storter Long remembers Weeks saying, "I knew Mrs. Weeks and she was a wonderful person, very talented. She was very creative in making flower designs for the Methodist Church in Moore Haven. When I once asked her if she could attend a certain ladies' function, she kinklhy said she could not, that she had a ranch to run."
The gifts will be used to create an endowed chair in veterinary medicine and an endowed professorship in bovine medicine, as well as an endowed fund to support teaching, research and programs at the college. The largest private gifts ever received by the college, the monies are eligible for matching funds from the state of Florida major gifts trust fund, which would raise the total to $12 million.
A previous installment of $1 million from the Robin Weeks estate enabled the college to meet its $4 million private funding goal and to obtain $57 million in state funding for a new small animal hospital.
The most recent gifts consist of $3.5 million from Robin Weeks' estate and $950,000 from the estate of Harriet Weeks, earmarked to the UF veterinary college. An additional gift of approximately $500,000 is expected when the estates are totally settled.