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1969 graduate leaves $1.1 million to Central Lakes College in Brainerd

A doctor who got her start at what was then Brainerd State Junior College left money for scholarships for women students.

A Massachusetts doctor who died in 2010 has left $1.145 million to Central Lakes College in northern Minnesota. The bequest will be used to provide scholarships for women students.

Dr. Jean Marie Porwoll, a Brainerd native, was a 1969 graduate of what was then Brainerd State Junior College, which combined in 1995 with Brainerd Staples Technical College to become Central Lakes College.

Porwoll then attended Moorhead State and received her medical degree from the University of Minnesota, said the Brainerd Dispatch.

Pam Thomsen, CLC director of resource development and the CLC Foundation, said: “This generous gift will mean more than $35,000 in annual scholarships for the education of women.”

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Porwoll worked as director of emergency services at Wing Memorial Hospital in Massachusetts for 25 years and then was a physician for Hampden County Physicians Associates in Longmeadow, Mass., the paper said.

Porwoll’s younger brother Joseph said:

“She was aware of inequities, especially those between men and women. She was a liberal supporter of opportunities and I think she viewed (CLC) as delivering education at the most important stage for women. This is where women initially gain the opportunity, and her gift makes perfect sense in support of that.”