Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History
Countway, Gussanda, 1882-1963
Gussanda "Sanda" Countway (1882-1963), W1904, was born in 1882 in Somerville, Massachusetts. After graduating from Somerville Latin High School, Countway attended Tufts College, from which she was graduated 1904. Her education at Tufts was supported by her brother, Francis Countway, who was, at the time a bookkeeper for a local soap company. At Tufts "Gussie" as she was known then, played basketball and was active in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. After her gradutation, she went on to a career teaching Latin at high schools in the Boston area, and for a short time, in Montana.
When her brother became president of Lever Brothers in 1913, Sanda Countway gave up her work to devote herself to him and his interests. Neither Countway ever married, and many believe that Gussanda Countway had a great deal of influence over her brother's business as well as personal life.
Thoughout her life Countway remained interested in education in general and women's education in particular. As early as 1909, she created the Alpha Xi Delta prize scholarship of $50 "to be awarded to the woman who most creditably completes the first three years of the Course in Education." After her brother's death, Countway created the Countway Charitable Foundation which was responsible for a $3.5 million gift to Harvard University to build the Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School, as well as $1 million for the Boston Science Museum, and $500,000 to the Boys Clubs of Boston.
When Countway died in 1963, she left $100,000 to Tufts University and substantial gifts to Colby College, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, New England Deconess Hosptial and the Perkins School for the Blind.