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Man Attends Dartmouth 3 Months; Wife’s Estate Leaves School $18 Million

October 16, 1996

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ Lansing Porter Moore was a loyal alumnus of Dartmouth College, regularly attending reunions and class trips. After his death, his wife donated more than $20 million to the school in his memory.

Not bad, considering Moore only went to Dartmouth for three months.

Dartmouth discovered Moore’s short stay when researching his history after his wife, Florence, left the college $18.1 million, the largest bequest in Dartmouth history. The gift was announced Tuesday.

``We’re all sort of gasping at this,″ said Lu Martin, director of development for fund-raising. ``We knew we were going to receive a bequest; we never expected to discover this, that he was at the college such a short time. I don’t even know if Mrs. Moore was aware of this.″

The school could not determine why Moore left, while noting his brief stay was in 1933, the heart of the Great Depression. Moore inherited his money late in life from an aunt.

``We don’t think he went anywhere else,″ Martin said. ``He never talked about it.″

Moore, of Centerport, N.Y., was a retired public relations and marketing executive in the New York area.

He attended Dartmouth reunions and class trips with Florence, his third wife, to whom he was married 26 years. He also was president of the Dartmouth Club of Long Island.

After his death in 1990 at the age of 75, Mrs. Moore gave the school $2 million to benefit the Hopkins Center at Dartmouth, where a renovated theater is now named for Moore.

She left the rest of the money to the school upon her own death in 1993, as a memorial to her husband. Dartmouth plans to use it for two scholarships named for Moore’s two sons, as well as for the undergraduate program. It also plans to name its new psychology building for the family.

While the brevity of Moore’s college career was surprising, the gift isn’t, said Francis Fenn, another member of the Class of ’37.

``We have a number of non-grads who are very loyal,″ Fenn said. ``We treat graduates and non-graduates the same.″

Fenn, of Brownsville, Vt., met the Moores through fund-raising for the school.

``They started going on our class trips around our 50th reunion,″ he said. ``That’s how she fell in love with Dartmouth. After he died, she went on two more trips. She felt very much at home with his classmates, and what the college was all about.″

The Moores were so much at home that other classmates have a hard time accepting that Lansing Moore wasn’t there at least one whole semester.

``I can’t believe it,″ said Dr. Seymour Ochsner of New Orleans, who became good friends with the Moores during the reunion years.

``I seem to remember he was there off and on for four years. Our freshman year we were together in the glee club, and also worked on the freshman yearbook,″ he said.

But Ochsner noted his memories of the 650-member freshman class might be faulty after 63 years.

``I was under the impression he graduated in the class of 1937,″ he said. ``At reunions we’d go to, he always acted as if he’d been there.″

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