The Sincere Offer That Was Enough To Spark An Unimagined Success

Spectacular Success
The unimagined success other people intentionally create for you
because you intentionally create success for them

Jacques Clarence LeBermuth attended Worcester Academy, a private urban boarding school in Worcester, Massachusetts, from 1920 to 1922. When he was a sophomore, LeBermuth’s family had difficulty paying his tuition and boarding fees. The school offered to waive the fees so LeBermuth could continue his education. Instead of taking the offer, LeBermuth dropped out of school and returned to his family in New York City where he got a job as an errand boy at A. Iselin & Company on Wall Street. He moved up into bond trading and became a wealthy investor and banker.

After LeBermuth’s death in 1996 at age 89, his lawyer contacted Worcester Academy to say that LeBermuth had left the school a bequest. By that time, everyone at Worcester had forgotten that LeBermuth had ever attended the Academy. The current administrators knew that Charles E. Merrill had attended Worcester and gone on to found Merrill Lynch & Co., and that Edward Davis Jones had attended Worcester and gone on to cofound Dow Jones & Company, but it took them days to figure out who Jacques Clarence LeBermuth was. Discovering LeBermuth’s connection was important because his $9.5 million bequest to Worcester was the Academy’s largest bequest in its 168 year history.

Perhaps LeBermuth made his generous bequest because Worcester Academy made its generous offer in spite of LeBermuth’s birth outside of the U.S. LeBermuth was born in Belgium. We’ll never know for sure, but it’s obvious that LeBermuth’s gratitude for Worcester Academy’s sincere offer to intentionally create success for him endured through the remaining decades of his life.

“9.5 Million Reasons To Remember Him”
Nathan Cobb
The Boston Globe
March 23, 2002

“Private Sector; Kindness Repaid, 80 Years Later”
Aaron Donovan
The New York Times
March 31, 2002


Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
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