Block S Benefactor

May/June 2010

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Block S Benefactor

Don Milici

Friends and family of Nancy Barry Munger remember her as someone whose quiet intelligence and modest bearing belied her tremendous fervor for helping others. Munger, whose philanthropy and service were vital to Stanford and many institutions in her native Los Angeles, died at her home on February 6, surrounded by family members. She was 86.

Her family's four-generation Stanford legacy began when her parents, David Noble Barry Jr., '20, and Emilie M. Hevener, '20, met as students. Nancy Barry earned a BA in economics in 1945. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and worked as a nurses' aide in Palo Alto.

On a blind date at Farmer John's Chicken Dinners restaurant, Nancy met Charles T. Munger, who would become vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. They married in 1956 and raised a large family of children and stepchildren together. "She had this Little House on the Prairie side—she wasn't afraid to get her hands dirty," recalls her stepdaughter Wendy Munger. "And yet with this gracious common sense, she raised this rambunctious family of eight children."

Through the years, Nancy Munger took on new civic responsibilities. She assumed a vital role in Stanford's leadership infrastructure, serving on the University's Board of Trustees and the Hoover Institution's board of overseers and its executive committee. She received the Gold Spike award in 1997.

The Mungers took care to invest in institutions they believed in. In addition to endowing the Nancy and Charles Munger Professorship of Business at Stanford Law School, the Mungers created an architectural footprint at Stanford, helping to fund the restoration of the Bing Wing at Green Library and the construction of a rotunda on the library's second floor. Their contribution of $43.5 million, the largest gift ever earmarked for University housing, went toward building the Munger Graduate Residence, which now houses 600 law and graduate students.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years; the children from their marriage and previous marriages, Molly Munger, William Harold "Hal" Borthwick, Wendy Munger, '72, David B. Borthwick, Charles T. Munger Jr., '79, Emilie Munger Ogden, '81, JD '89, Barry A. Munger, '84, and Philip R. Munger, '90; 16 grandchildren, including Anna Munger Gumport, '04, Mary Margot Gumport, '11, Claire Elizabeth Borthwick, '07, and William Harold Borthwick Jr., '13; and her brother, David N. Barry III, '48.

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