$6.5 million, including the cat.
Alumnus leaves all to Juniata College
HUNTINGDON, Pa. - A California radiologist left everything to his alma mater, Pennsylvania's Juniata College. Absolutely everything.
After the death of Larry Johnson, 68, from an apparent heart attack last year, Juniata College found itself the owner of possessions including his $1.3 million condominium overlooking Monterey Bay, an extensive music collection, Lexus, .38-caliber handgun, his cat, Princess, and other items.
Juniata officials said the donation, valued at $6.5 million, is the largest ever for the 1,460-student school about 100 miles east of Pittsburgh. It includes all of Johnson's personal property, retirement assets and investment accounts.
Johnson's will left $1.3 million to be used to establish in perpetuity a four-year scholarship for tuition, room and board for a Juniata student from Somerset Area High School. An additional $1.5 million will endow a scholarship to send a Juniata graduate to the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, where Johnson received his degree.
The will allows Juniata to sell tangible property and use the money as the school sees fit.
A 1961 Juniata graduate, Johnson, who never married, grew up in Somerset and would not have been able to attend college if it wasn't for a scholarship from Juniata.
"That was an important place to Larry," said Juniata president Thomas Kepple Jr. "This was a guy who I think valued the education he got and wanted others to have the same experience."
Johnson's possessions included boxes of pottery, paintings, imitation Navajo blankets, and one particularly curious item - a purse made from dried buffalo scrotum.
His music collection of 1,500 CDs will vastly increase Juniata library's offerings.
"There's more than just classical here," said circulation supervisor Lynn Jones. "There's John Denver, music from TV shows, K.C. and the Sunshine Band. . . . The man was quite a collector."
Kim Kitchen, the school's director of planned giving, inventoried Johnson's two-bedroom condo.
"We knew Larry, but he didn't open up his personal side," Kitchen said. "It felt a bit like I was walking into the most personal aspects of his life. Everything had been left as it was the moment he died."
One of Johnson's neighbors agreed to take Princess the cat, said Kitchen, who helped spread Johnson's ashes over San Francisco Bay. His gun, flat-screen TV, and most of his household furnishings were sold in California; while his wardrobe and groceries were donated to a homeless shelter there.