Locals Thankful For David Rockefeller’s Philanthropy 

Billionaire and philanthropist David Rockefeller passed away today at the age of 101.

The last surviving child of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., David Rockefeller summered on Mount Desert Island from the time he was just a few weeks old.

Joy Hollowell takes a look back at the countless contributions Rockefeller made to the island.
“Very sad, yes, there will never be another like him,” says David MacDonald, President of Friends of Acadia. MacDonald says David Rockefeller was a constant force in making sure Acadia National Park survived and thrived.

“He was the honorary chairman of our Friends of Acadia Second Century campaign which went right up until today basically,” says MacDonald.

It was David’s father, John D. Rockefeller, Junior who donated some 10,000 acres to Acadia to create the park.

“He also led the design and construction of the carriage road network and many of the motorized roads here in Acadia,” says MacDonald.

David Rockefeller spent his summers on Mount Desert Island and grew to love the community just like his parents. Last June, he celebrated his 100th birthday by gifting a thousand acres of land on MDI to the people of Maine.

“And he’s passed that on to his kids,” says MacDonald. “All of his children are very involved and generous as well.”

Rockefeller was there when Acadia National Park celebrated its centennial last year as well.

“When he showed up at this event at the Jordan Pond House last summer, it was a surprise,” says MacDonald. “We never quite knew if he was going to make it. But it showed how much the place means to him.”

“From the college’s earliest days in the early 1970s all the way up through today, David Rockefeller has helped us become who we are as an institution,” says Dr. Darron Collins, President of the College of the Atlantic. ”

Six years ago, David Rockefeller and his family donated the Peggy Rockefeller Farms to College of the Atlantic. Several years later, Rockefeller gave more than half a million to the Bar Harbor school’s sustainable food program, in honor of his late wife.

“The Rockefeller family and Abby Rockefeller and Peggy Rockefeller had been working on sustainable food systems for decades,” says Collins. “And so they were well ahead of their time and helped the College of the Atlantic put food systems front and center in our own curriculum. David Rockefeller was such a wonderful human being.”

A spokesman says Rockefeller died in his sleep Monday morning at his home in Pocantico Hills, New York.