In Memoriam:

Leonore Annenberg

Last Updated: March 25, 2009

On behalf of the Rural School and Community Trust family, we add our voice of condolence and heartfelt gratitude to countless others who have been enriched by the thoughtful generosity of Leonore Annenberg. In her passing, we have not only lost a dear friend, but our very existence as an organization is due to her vision, philanthropic support, and caring for rural people and places. The work we do to help rural schools and their communities get better would not have been possible without the passion for school reform of Mrs. Annenberg and her husband Ambassador Walter Annenberg (1908-2002). Together, they touched the lives of millions of children.
The Annenberg Rural Challenge, established in 1993 and funded through the Annenberg Foundation, became the Rural School and Community Trust in 1999. The Foundation continued to support the Rural Trust's work throughout Mrs. Annenberg's life and thousands of rural schools and communities across the United States have benefited immeasurably through this work.
While perhaps many rural people in communities that received this support and investment don't know much about the Annenbergs personally, they feel a strong connection because of the donor's commitment to them and their children. They appreciate how their communities have been changed for the better and feel a genuine sense of pride, accomplishment, and loyalty. The names of Walter and Leonore Annenberg continue to be invoked when giving credit to improving learning in small town America.
Following her husband's passing, Mrs. Annenberg continued her commitment to rural students in numerous ways, including the establishment of the Leonore Annenberg Scholarship Fund that each year provides full college financial support for a promising rural high school graduate. In addition, she established the Leonore Annenberg School Fund which provides resources to very low income rural schools. Mrs. Annenberg's legacy is grounded in her strong belief that every child deserves a top rate education, particularly those from rural and often poor communities
We salute you and the Annenberg Foundation. The Rural Trust is forever in your debt.
Rachel B. Tompkins
Rural School and Community Trust