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New Gift Expands Legacy of Sarah Molloy Crane '56, '04HD

Benjamin Crane Gives $250,000 to His Late Wife's Scholarship

(November 6, 2013) -- When Benjamin Crane is asked what inspired his recent gift to the scholarship established by his late wife Trustee Emerita Sarah "Sally" Molloy Crane '56, '04HD, his reply reinforces her well-earned reputation as a passionate, persuasive advocate for Simmons.

Ben and Sally Crane ’56, ’04HD at the Simmons Centennial Kickoff Event in May, 1999Ben and Sally Crane '56, '04HD at the Simmons Centennial Kickoff Event
in May, 1999.

"Sally trained me well! So I contribute to things that she thought were extremely worthwhile. And I know that making this gift to her Simmons scholarship is something she would have wanted to do," says Ben Crane, a retired attorney.

His latest gift to the Sarah Molloy Crane '56, '04HD Endowed Scholarship raises the value of the fund to more than $1 million and significantly expands the impact it can have on current and future students. The scholarship has already benefited 19 undergraduates since Sally initiated it in connection with The Campaign for Simmons, which she chaired (2001 through 2004).

"Sally said many times that Simmons turned her life around. She said the teachers were so inspiring and supportive of the students – it really impressed her," says Ben Crane. "Together, we decided to make a substantial gift to Simmons to help students who might not otherwise rise to the top for scholarship assistance. Her preference was to designate the scholarship for African American and Native American students, whenever possible."

In an interview after she launched the scholarship, Sally Crane said the idea for it was inspired in part by a trip years earlier. "My family and I traveled out west for the first time in the 1970s, and seeing the poor conditions many Native Americans were living in really changed the way I looked at things," she said, adding that volunteer work with underserved populations in New York also affected her outlook.

"Sally loved meeting the students who received the scholarship, and staying in touch with them," says Ben Crane. "I also enjoy learning about who is receiving the scholarship."

Sally Crane's spirited, tireless service to Simmons was part of her broader, self-described career as a "professional volunteer" for multiple organizations over four decades. In 2004, Simmons recognized her accomplishments by awarding her an honorary degree. Two years later the College named her a trustee emerita. She passed away in 2010.

If you are interested in making a gift to the Sarah Molloy Crane '56, '04HD Endowed Scholarship in honor of Sally Crane, please visit


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