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Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning
Cornell University
130 E Seneca Street, Suite 400
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 1-800-481-1865
Fax: 607-254-1204


The Perfect Spot Makes the Perfect Gift

browning-large.pngPercy Browning ’56 loves her home—it has a beautiful garden, a creek that runs through her backyard, and enough room for her to host family when they visit or the many musicians, actors, dancers, and other artists from across the country who come to Ithaca to perform.

“I chose not to downsize,” says Percy. “I like to entertain, and you can’t do that in a condo.”

She made a charitable gift of her house to Cornell with retained life interest shortly after purchasing the property in 1996. It was the year of her 40th reunion, and she wanted her gift to be counted toward the class of 1956’s reunion fundraising efforts. Since then Percy has made many improvements to the property, adding a sunroom and landscaping the grounds.

As a pianist, violinist, singer, and an avid supporter of the arts in Ithaca, it was important to her that her gift would benefit music at Cornell, especially since she was very active in the music community as a student. She sang in the a cappella chorus and remembers being inspired by visiting artists who came to campus such as the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.

“Music is a lifeblood for me,” says Percy, who, in honor of her 50th reunion, also endowed the Priscilla Edwards Browning Directorship of Choral Music, which leads Cornell’s chorus and glee clubs. “I was looking for the perfect spot and found it here. I plan to live here a long time. It’s a great house, and the people in Ithaca are so passionate about the arts.”