Gordon in the News: last updated 03/18/2014
Gordon College is saddened to share news of the passing of long-time friend and supporter George F. Bennett. He died peacefully this weekend at the age of 102.
During a long and distinguished career, Mr. Bennett was admired as a principled leader in Boston's financial world and a man of great faith in Jesus Christ, whose first priorities were furthering God's kingdom and caring for his family. In fact, he twice turned down an opportunity to serve as Secretary of the Treasury (under Presidents Johnson and Reagan) to stay close to family.
In Boston, he was widely respected for his leadership of State Street Research & Management Company, which included serving as president and director of State Street Investment Corporation, one of the oldest mutual funds in the country. Mr. Bennett was a founder of South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham and a longstanding trustee of Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary and Wheaton College (IL). He served as treasurer of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Harvard University.
Throughout his life, Mr. Bennett modeled the wisdom and vigilance of a leader in faithful pursuit of the common good, which Gordon commemorated by creating the George F. Bennett Scholarship for Outstanding Student Leadership. His generosity—along with that of his late wife of 72 years, Helen Brigham Bennett—is largely responsible for both the Bennett Athletic and Recreation Center and Brigham Field.
Bennett family members with Gordon College connections include son Peter Bennett, retired long-time chair of the College's Board of Trustees; granddaughter Lisa Forkner, current trustee; grandson Jonathan Bennett '05 (creative writing faculty at Gordon); grandson by marriage Tom Card '00; and great-grandchildren Chris Blatchley '14 and Shelby Fulton '16, both currently enrolled students at Gordon College.
Mr. Bennett was a native son of the South Shore of Boston. His family can trace its lineage to Elder Brewster, a passenger on the Mayflower and leader of the Mayflower community. He was a lifelong resident of Hingham and a standout athlete in high school and at Harvard University. At the age of 99, he was inducted into the Hingham High School Athletic Hall of Fame, honoring his youthful exploits as a star on the school's football, baseball and track teams. Until he was 93, he celebrated each birthday with a swim across Quissett Harbor in Falmouth. “In many ways, George Bennett embodied the faithful leadership we seek to develop in our students,” said Gordon President Michael Lindsay. “It seems especially appropriate to remember and celebrate his life with the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.'”
Mr. Bennett's life and fruitful legacy will be remembered with a memorial service at South Shore Baptist Church in Hingham on Saturday, March 22. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations can be made to the George F. Bennett Scholarship for Outstanding Student Leadership.
Gordon College is one of the nation's premier Christian colleges and located just north of Boston. We offer students extraordinary access to leading-edge opportunities for intellectual, professional, and leadership development to address the increasingly complex challenges of a global society. Gordon stands apart from other outstanding institutions in New England by combining an exceptional education with an informed Christian faith.