Renaming of northern New York college to honor big donor stirs emotional protests from alumni

Associated Press

Paul Smith's College already has the Joan Weill Adirondack Library and the Joan Weill Student Center thanks to the largesse of a Wall Street billionaire's wife. Now, for $20 million, she can have her name on the whole place.

Paul Smith's College president Cathy Dove announced over the summer that the school would be renamed to honor the wife of billionaire financier Sanford Weill. She said the college desperately needs the $20 million Joan Weill has pledged in return.

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Joan Weill has been actively involved in the school since the couple bought a summer home nearby two decades ago.

The college petitioned a state court to allow the name change. A group of alumni sought to intervene, but the judge ruled against them on Friday. A decision on the petition is expected soon.