“The act of estate planning itself prompts thoughts about what has been important in your life,” observes Rebecca Mitchell ’70, who has included Bennington in her will. “We hear (fortunately) about large gifts received by the College today; however, you don’t have to be a zillionaire to leave money to Bennington. The Silo Society is an opportunity for all those of us who are willing to invest in the future of Bennington. It is a pleasure for me to be a part of that group. I feel that I am providing for the future of many endeavors I value—the arts, the investigation into the humanities and sciences, and the creation of alert and questioning citizens among them.”
A student of history and philosophy, but also with a strong interest in dance, Rebecca was drawn to Bennington because it was a school that offered a vigorous academic life as well as respect for the arts. She fondly recalls “the bracing tartness, discipline, and high standards” of Jane Dudley and Viola Farber, former dance faculty members.
“Bennington presented itself differently,” says Rebecca. “Here was a place where integrity and craftsmanship in all those areas really mattered.”
She also remembers the pleasure of dancing in former faculty member Martha Wittman’s compositions and the generosity with which Anne Schlabach Burkhardt, former philosophy faculty member, and Rush Welter, former social sciences faculty member and dean of studies, each addressed her education: “I am very grateful to the many teachers who made my education possible.”
Rebecca has been very active in higher education since graduating from Bennington. She has been a reference librarian at Vassar College and the University of Wisconsin, and has taught students how to conduct research. She is also deeply involved in historic preservation and town planning in her local community. Through it all, she remains a committed supporter of Bennington College.
“I don’t come from a family of great means,” says Rebecca. “But I come from a family where my parents cared about supporting things that mattered to them. So, by supporting Bennington, I am partly expressing my gratitude to my parents and to Bennington for having such an impact on my life.”