Barbara Montague ’51 Leaves $1.7 Million Gift

Passion for chemistry leads alumna to long, successful career with DuPont

>Barbara Montague '51
When Barbara Montague ’51 was planning for the future many years ago, there was no doubt about where she wanted to leave the bulk of her estate.

“I am really excited about this opportunity to return some of my material blessings to the College, which made the accumulation possible,” she wrote at the time.

Thanks to Montague’s thoughtful planning and support, Randolph College recently received more than $1.7 million from her estate. Montague, a resident of Hockessin, Delaware, passed away in February 2009 at the age of 79. Her gift will establish an endowed fund in her name.

“Gifts such as these, especially those from our alumnae, are extremely important to the future of the College,” said John E. Klein, president. “This support allows us to continue to provide exceptional opportunities for our students.”

Montague’s passion for chemistry was recognized before she graduated with a chemistry major and math minor. She received the Burton Scholarship, an award given to a rising junior or senior chemistry major for exceptional work in the field of chemistry.

She began her career at E.I. DuPont De Nemours in 1951 as a research chemist in analytical research and infrared spectroscopy analysis. During her long, successful tenure, Montague was frequently published in major scientific journals. She coordinated the development of the company’s Central Report Index and served as manager of the Information Services Division. She was elected as a trustee for the American Chemical Society Group Insurance Programs. In addition, she was a dedicated musician who played the timpani for the Wilmington Opera Society.

Montague was also a member of Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Information Science, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also listed in American Men and Women of Science, Who’s Who of Science and Engineering, and Who’s Who of American Women.

For Montague, the opportunity to give back to her alma mater was a chance to make a difference in the lives of others. She once wrote on an alumnae survey that what she valued most about her college experiences was the “quality education which prepared me well for career and life in general.”

“Alumnae support is very important, and we are grateful to Ms. Montague for her generosity,” said Jan Meriwether, vice president for Institutional Advancement. “The entire Randolph College community will benefit from her careful planning and foresight.”