Little did Felix Verity '36 know when he was growing up in the suburbs of Boston and in Connecticut and New Jersey that one day he would attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, or have lunch with Arctic explorer and Bowdoin honorary degree recipient Donald MacMillan, or meet Irish poet William Butler Yeats, or playwright Noel Coward, or see U.S. General George C. Marshall following the liberation of Paris during World War II, or-well, you get the picture.
Felix, or Lex as he is known by many, attended Bowdoin in the worst of the Great Depression and worked for the Provident Loan Society of New York following graduation. His next four years were spent in the U.S. Army, when he was awarded a Bronze Star for his activity as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. After the Army, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service and was posted to the American Embassies in London and Rome, and The American Consulate General in Kingston, Jamaica. Lex then served as assistant to Joe Lauder and his wife, Estée Lauder, founder of Estée Lauder Cosmetics Company. He followed that with 16 years at McCall's Pattern Company, where he served as director of advertising and promotion.
Since his retirement in 1970, Lex has pursued his hobby of buying and selling antiques, specializing in 18th and 19th Century porcelain and silver. He lives comfortably but unpretentiously in the quiet, attractive village of Unadilla, New York, on the banks of the Susquehanna River.
Economic times were difficult when Lex was at Bowdoin, and he cobbled together his tuition, room, and board through a combination of scholarships, loans, and jobs. In spite of these pressures, Lex loved his time at Bowdoin, and out of gratitude has established the Felix S. Verity Fund, an endowment for the benefit of the music department that he is funding through several charitable gift annuities and a provision in his will.
Originally, Lex had intended to simply leave much of his estate to Bowdoin through his will. However, he learned that he could be paid fixed, relatively high rates through charitable gift annuities, which was a very attractive alternative to his fairly conservative investments.
"Comparing the guaranteed fixed Charitable Gift Annuity rate with what the bank offered when I was about to roll over my certificates of deposit was a no-brainer," says Lex.
The College is grateful for Lex's generosity, and we are happy to provide charitable gift annuity information and tailored illustrations to those who may be interested.