Nancy Long, the former assistant to Head of School Barbara Wagner, recently donated two million dollars to the school in her will.
The money will go to the endowment portion of the Leadership in Learning Campaign, where it will be used to support the teaching fund and financial aid.
Many teachers agree that Marlborough was a very important part of Long’s life.
“I think we were like a family to her. We were definitely a lot more to her than just a place she came to work,” said Martha Schuur, history instructor and dean of faculty. “When you work here a long time, you see what a community Marlborough is. We are always here for each other during hard times.”
English instructor Les Klein agrees.
“I really believe that Marlborough was a mooring for her. It was a place where she was anchored. People knew who she was, and she was loved and well-respected.”
Long’s impact on the school went beyond the financial, Klein said.
“She was, to anyone who called, the voice of Marlborough. She was so incredibly warm and gracious and stylish,” Klein said, adding, “Her sense of humor was really fun and gaudy – it was a lot of who she was.”
Gina Woodruff, visual arts department head, agreed that Long was a center of the Marlborough community.
“Because she was Ms. Wagner’s assistant, she interfaced with a lot of the community. She knew a lot of people and she helped everyone – she was at the center of what was going on,” Woodruff said.
Klein and Schuur both said that Long’s death has been hard on many in the community.
“I think it was so terribly difficult for people at Marlborough when she disappeared after Thanksgiving Break [last year], because that was so unlike her. But I think she needed to do her death in her own way,” Klein said.
To Klein, Long’s friendliness and willingness to go out of her way to help others were two things that set her apart.
“To me, her smile was kind of like Gatsby’s smile. When you were in her light you were the center of attention, and she really made you feel like you were important to her. I think that is a gift,” Klein said.