Late doctor leaves University of Evansville $39M

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An ophthalmologist who died in March has left the University of Evansville $39 million. School officials say it's the largest single gift in the university's 159-year history.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports about $34 million of the donation from Dr. William Ridgway will be used to improve academic programs and facilities. About $5 million will go toward creating the Ridgway Endowment for Faculty Excellence to support the work of professors.

Ridgway attended the forerunner of the University of Evansville, but graduated from Indiana University and completed postgraduate study in ophthalmology at Northwestern University.

University President Thomas Kazee called the gift an example of remarkable generosity. The school is a private, liberal arts-based university with about 2,400 full-time students.

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