Couple Leaves $6.6 Million Gift to Benefit University School and Hathaway Brown

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Estate of Victor and Georgia Cannon splits large bequest between Northeast Ohio institutions

Both University School and Hathaway Brown have become the beneficiaries of a $6.6 million bequest from the estate of Victor M. Cannon and his wife, Georgia. The monies will be evenly split between the two institutions and added to the schools’ respective endowments.

Hathaway Brown Head of School Bill Christ and University School Headmaster Steve Murray both expressed enormous gratitude for this relatively unusual joint gift. “The histories and missions of Hathaway Brown and University School are very closely intertwined,” said HB’s Christ. “And we are so pleased that the Cannons decided to honor both schools with this substantial bequest."

“We are extremely grateful for this extraordinary gift to our school,” said US Headmaster Murray. ”We are planning to devote the $3.3 million bequest to unrestricted endowments for faculty enhancement and professional development. Honoring our faculty by giving them the teaching tools to do their best work was the primary goal behind our new academic wing in Hunting Valley. These endowments will ensure that our faculty continue to be supported in their work and receive ongoing professional development.”

During the September dedication of the academic wing, University School launched a $100 million campaign, which included a $12 million lead gift from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. The school has already raised $70.5 million towards the $100 million goal. In addition to building a new academic wing, the campaign will enable the school to renovate much of the Hunting Valley Campus and create a new entrance to the school. The school will also add a significant sum to its endowment in order to help attract the city’s most accomplished young men and provide support to enhance faculty salaries.

At Hathaway Brown, the $3.3 million bequest is the third largest gift in school history. In 2001, a $7.2 million gift from alumna Jean Sharer Brown (class of 1936) fueled the construction of the school’s 50,000-square-foot, four-story atrium and middle school academic center. In 2005, HB unveiled an onsite aquatic center with a principal $4 million gift from Carol Humphrey Butler of the class of 1940. “We’re especially excited to have received news of this generous donation from the estate of Georgia Cannon at this time,” said Christ. “Hathaway Brown and its board of directors are now engaged in an in-depth strategic planning process for mapping out our academic and experiential programming, facilities, faculty and student recruitment, and research and community engagement initiatives well into the future. At the same time, gifts like this allow us to maintain, refine, and expand the outstanding education we provide for girls across Northeast Ohio.”

At the time of his death in 1970, Victor M. Cannon, a 1919 graduate of University School, was an executive at The Reynolds Co. Inc., and a longtime volunteer and adviser at the Seaman's Service Center where he served as president and was a member of the board of trustees. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he was an executive at Premier Vacuum Cleaner Co. before it was sold to General Electric Co. Mr. Cannon was associated with the Brown Fence & Wire Co. prior to joining the Reynolds Co. He was the son of well-known Cleveland lawyer and businessman Austin Victor Cannon, who served as the chairman of the Cuyahoga County Relief Commission during the Great Depression.

Victor M. Cannon married Georgia Gary, a 1924 graduate of Hathaway Brown and 1928 graduate of Rollins College. The couple had two children, Victor M. Jr. and Patsy, both of whom are now deceased. Victor Jr. was an alumnus of University School, graduating in 1949. Georgia served as Vice President and Treasurer for her senior class at HB. She spent many years as a volunteer at the Cleveland Society for the Blind, where she read to sight-impaired law students. She also was a member of several community organizations, including the Cleveland Skating Club, The Country Club, and Colony Garden Club. She died in 1995 at the age of 88.

Representatives of both University School and Hathaway Brown are available for comment. Those interested in speaking with administrators at US should contact Fiona Reilly, Director of Public Relations, at 216.780.1348 or freilly(at)us(dot)edu. Please direct HB interview requests to Director of Communication & Outreach Kathleen Osborne at 216.320.8785 or kosborne(at)hb(dot)edu.


About Hathaway Brown:
Located in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Hathaway Brown is an independent school serving girls K-12 and boys and girls in Early Childhood. Founded in 1876, HB is committed to a fusion of academic and experiential learning. The school serves families from 77 Northeast Ohio communities. Visit to learn more.

About University School:
Founded in 1890, University School is an independent day school, educating boys in kindergarten through grade 12. The school’s mission is to develop promising and motivated boys into accomplished and independent young men who aspire to make a difference in the world. University School has two suburban campuses in Cleveland, Ohio: the Shaker Heights Campus for boys in kindergarten through grade 8, and the Hunting Valley Campus, which is home students in grades 9-12. Visit for more information.

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