Mysterious Donor Leaves Behind an $8 Million Gift

Jul 3, 2014

A reclusive North Stonington resident who died in September has left an approximately $8 million donation to the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. According to the group, it's the largest gift it's ever received.

There's not a lot known about Peter Grayson Letz. Even finding a picture of him is difficult. (The one above is one of his few known photos.) Letz attended Pine Point School and later, Fitch High School in Groton.

Maryam Elahi, director of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, said she never even met him. "Mr. Letz was a very private person and so nobody could have guessed that he was moved in this direction," she said.

That "direction" was a roughly $8 million gift to the Community Foundation with one stipulation. Use the money to educate people about the environment and to protect animals and wildlife. "It's the biggest gift ever in the history of the Community Foundation," Elahi said. "Of course it's surprising and it's delightful." 

Letz's family did have some history with the Community Foundation. His parents, George and Beverly, set up scholarships for high school students at Fitch and at North Stonington's Wheeler High School.