Anonymous donations to go towards scholarships

Katy Hillbo

With tuition, room and board, books and the cost of living, a Lawrence education can be very expensive. The financial burden of attending college is a growing worry as students at Lawrence and across the nation become aware of the frightening realities of entering a job market with decreasing job security, trying to find financial stability in a crumbling economy and having to deal with the dreaded “l” word: loans.
It is enough to make even the most optimistic of students a little nervous.
Thankfully, there are people in the community who value a quality education and offer support for students and academic institutions, as was made evident by three donations of amounts over one million dollars that Lawrence received in recent weeks.
The donations will be used for student scholarships and will help alleviate some of the financial pressure that students are feeling in these uncertain times.
The most recent is a $2.5 million gift from an anonymous donor. The donor — by all accounts a fascinating woman — lived through the Great Depression and was herself conscious of financial insecurity.
A 1936 Lawrence graduate, she is said to have had a great deal of pride in her alma mater and to have supported Lawrence and many other community organizations throughout her lifetime.
She was not one to help for the sake of recognition, however. It is said that she did not like to have any special attention paid to her, but rather, received enjoyment from “quietly helping others.”
Lawrence also recently received a gift of $1.6 million from the estate of F. Stansbury Young ’36, whose great-grandmother was Lawrence’s youngest graduate, graduating at the age of 16 in 1859.
A $1.13 million gift was contributed from the trust of Amond “Ralph” and Marjorie Ballinger, both long-time residents of Appleton and friends of the college, though neither attended Lawrence.
The donations total more than $5.2 million and have been added to the college’s endowment. Approximately five percent of the funds will be used each year for scholarships.
Cal Husmann, vice president for development and alumni relations, said that Lawrence is “exceedingly delighted. These are huge, transformative gifts for the college.”
As students face the prospect of entering a fragile economy, the generosity of these alumni and friends of the college provides some needed financial relief, but more than that, shows support of and value for education in America.
The donors recognized the importance of a quality education, and through their gifts are helping to ensure that students have the opportunity for a Lawrence education well into the future.
As Husmann put it, donations are “the way that we can assure that future generations can afford a Lawrence education.