A gift for generations

Danielle Cook, ’16, says a scholarship from an estate gift gave her the flexibility to study abroad, which shaped her dreams.

Alumna’s estate gift led to one student’s biggest life adventure

Lillian C. George, ’35, is changing lives at her alma mater.

George earned a degree in education and went on to a distinguished career of civil service in Washington, D.C. When she and her husband, Theodore, died, the remainder of their estate was split between their alma maters, leaving UWL with the largest estate gift in its history.

The Theodore A. and Lillian C. George Trust and Estate gave $1.69 million to UW-La Crosse — funding more than $60,000 in new scholarships for students each year beginning in fall 2012.

The first class of UWL student scholarship recipients graduated in May.

“UWL and Lillian George set me up for an amazingly bright future,” says May graduate Danielle Cook. “I feel like this gift opened doors for me that I possibly would have never pursued, leading to outcomes that have truly shaped who I am and what my dreams are.”

Cook received a $4,000 scholarship each of her four years because of the estate gift. It gave her the financial flexibility to study abroad in Twickenham, England, which she calls her “biggest life adventure.”

“If I could speak to Lillian George today, I would thank her profusely for her generous gift,” says Cook.

Now Cook is building on that international experience as she pursues a master’s degree in Corporate Communication at Bournemouth University in Bournemouth, England. She aims for a career in corporate communication and marketing for an international business or university.

“As I speak both Spanish and French, I think it would be fun to work for an international organization, so I can assist in reaching global audiences and continue learning about different cultures.”

Cook hopes her experiences and achievements would make George proud. “I am extremely grateful for this gift, and I truly hope to pay it forward someday,” she says.

How to make an estate gift

Anyone considering an estate gift to benefit UWL is encouraged to contact Greg Reichert, vice chancellor for University Advancement and president of the UWL Foundation, at 608.785.8672, or greichert@uwlax.edu, to document the gift and create a fund agreement to outline the details of how funds will be used.

Adding just one word — Foundation — to the university’s name will make sure that a financial gift delivers a maximum benefit to UWL’s campus. A gift to the “University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation” will ensure gifts for La Crosse are administered in La Crosse by the Foundation.