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Education: Castle and College

2 minute read

Once upon a time (in Loretto, Pa.) humble little St. Francis College had a rich neighbor and alumnus who lived across the road in a $3,000,000 mountain castle called Immergrun (German for Evergreen). He was the late Steel Tycoon Charles M. Schwab. Often Mr. Schwab promised his alma mater a $2,000,000 endowment, but he never got around to it. Instead, when he died three years ago, bankrupt Mr. Schwab left the college holding the bag to the tune of $25,000, which he borrowed from it in 1932 and never repaid.

One day a month ago 2,000 people gathered in the fabled gardens of Immergrun to see the Schwab castle sold at auction. A spokesman for a group called the Friends of St. Francis stepped up and bid $32,500 for the castle and 240 acres of the 940-acre estate. It was the only bid. Real-estate men, though tempted by such a bargain, held their peace. When the castle went to the lone bidder, the spectators cheered.

Last week St. Francis College made ready to move across the road into Immergrun. It will keep its old campus too. Besides the 44-room castle and hanging gardens, its fabulous new campus included a 26-room guesthouse, stone cottages, dairy barn, ghole golf course.

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