Jane Iris Crutchfield's estate will donate $1.1 million each to the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia.
Crutchfield earned her bachelor's degree from the former Mary Washington College in Frederickburg, Va., then her master's degree at U.Va. in 1952 and the equivalent of a master's degree at UNC in 1955.
She taught for the Virginia Public Schools system for almost two decades before becoming a school librarian in 1960. She never married or had children.
Friends said they didn't realize how much money she had saved until they began disbursing her estate after she died in 2006 at the age of 92.
"I had no idea," said Mary Kay Lanzillotta, Crutchfield's longtime neighbor, guardian and co-trustee. "It was only after her passing that we looked through her estate and realized, 'Wow, this is going to be a significant contribution."'
Crutchfield's gift in North Carolina will go to a scholarship fund that benefits students admitted to one of the school's master's degree programs.
In Virginia, the bulk of the donation will be used to complete Bavaro Hall, the school's new multipurpose center, and for student financial aid and faculty support.