Winter 2002


Inspiring Donor Profiles:

Estate planning builds legacies

Clarence and Olga Grahn
Clarence and Olga Grahn

Giving to PLU through estate planning is one way supporters help university funds grow. Olga Grahn and her husband, Clarence, were early leaders in Q Club, truly set a trend as they generously established one of the first charitable trusts at PLU in 1977. Their two daughters and numerous grandchildren attended PLU, so they knew the importance of education and made provisions for the university in their estates. Clarence died in 1985, and Olga remained a dedicated donor to the university until her death in July.

Gertrude Tingelstad ’39 is another shining example of providing for PLU even after her death. An employee of the PLU library, Tingelstad came from a strong PLU family including her uncle, Oscar A. Tingelstad, who was university president from 1928 to 1943. Two funds were established following her death—a scholarship and a loan fund—with gifts her estate left to PLU.


Carol and Vern '53 Hance
Carol and Vern '53 Hance

Graduate says giving back builds character

Vern Hance ’53 credits the words on back of an old Pacific Lutheran College sign for guiding his life. "Build for Character," it said. A relative of PLU’s first president, Bjug Harstad, Hance feels his life has always been touched by the university’s heritage.

After graduating from PLU with a business degree, Hance joined the military, earned a degree in mechanical engineering and then worked for many years in research at Chevron. To plan for the future, he opted for a frugal life.

"I feel that I have been blessed," he said of his contributions to the university, including many years as a Q Club donor. "I wanted to do something to further the building of character."


Paul Larson dedicated life to PLU and Q Club

Paul Larson ’38 embodied PLU. From his birth in Harstad Hall to his graduation in 1938, from his service as a university employee, until his death earlier this year, Larson dedicated himself to the university.

Larson supported PLU in various ways, but he is most associated with Q Club. He was invited to join the club as a charter member when it was founded in 1972 and went on to serve as Q Club director for 10 years until 2000. He was a top recruiter and received the 2000 President’s Award.

Up until his death, Larson remained active with Q Club, making phone calls to churches and alumni. Shortly after his retirement Larson said, "I have been around PLU all my life and the university is important to me. After I retired, I had the opportunity to help, especially in the contacts I have made throughout my life. I have enjoyed being able to help out."


Nursing scholarship makes immediate impact

The Aiken Family
The Aiken Family, from left: Travis, Shirley '71,'78, '96, Crystal '97 and Phillip.

Shirley Aiken (Coleman ’71,’78,’96), a 28-year veteran professor of nursing, called development director Monica Hurley ’94 the day after Aiken’s husband died suddenly. "Travis would not want flowers, but would want something good done in his name," she told Hurley, "Let's talk about a scholarship."

Shirley and Travis believed in planning for the future and discussed how they would want to be remembered. Hundreds of friends, neighbors and family were immediately notified that in lieu of flowers and gifts that money was to be sent to support a scholarship for students of color studying nursing at PLU.

Aiken, who got her BA, MAE and MSN degrees from PLU, is grateful for all the help provided by the development office. There have already been enough contributions to the fund to support an endowed Q Club scholarship in Travis’ name. "Having graduated from PLU, I know how much scholarships help," Aiken said.


Student sets standard by joining Q Club freshman year

It is not every day that a PLU student is also a donor to the university. David Wolbrecht ’05, an ultimate Frisbee enthusiast and a member of Choir of the West, is an exception.

Because of the financial assistance he received, the Regent’s Scholar decided to give the $1,000 to Q Club. After receiving $1000 additional aid in his financial package, Wolbrecht opted to give back the money he didn’t need. "I get so much out of the college experience," he said, "I just wanted to help someone else." He has set a standard for himself that he hopes to continue as a donor for years to come.


Nancy '79, Bob and Delores Meader
Nancy '79, Bob and Delores Meader

Graduate’s passion lives on through international scholarship

After Nancy Meader died in November 2000, her parents wanted to ensure that her memory would live on, so they created the Nancy Meader International Scholarship. Shortly after she graduated, Nancy earned a master’s degree in developmental psychology from the University of Manchester (England) as a Rotary Scholar. She was a manager of training at the U.S. Environmental Training Institute, a member of the Friends of the National Symphony Orchestra and the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., and she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.

Nancy’s international ties and interests inspired her parents, Bob and Delores Meader. "As time passed we realized that’s how we would want to make a permanent remembrance to Nancy," Delores said.

The Office of Development at PLU was invaluable in connecting the family with the Wang Center as part of the scholarship and making the process simple. "We are quietly pleased, grateful," she said.

Not only is the memorial a way to honor their daughter, the Meaders feel strongly about investing in the future. "Investing in young people is the best use of resources you can make." Bob Meader said.


Arts thrive under the generosity of Dick and Marcia Moe

Marcia and DIck Moe
Marcia and Dick Moe

The many donations of Dick and Marcia Moe can be heard throughout PLU.

Thanks to a generous endowment, this year the Richard D. Moe Concert Series will be presented on the Fuchs Organ in Lagerquist Hall every fall. Richard’s sister-in-law, Ann Stephanson-Moe, presented the inaugural concert of the series over Homecoming weekend.

Dick is emeritus dean of the School of the Arts. His love for the arts is reflected in other ways as well. Forest Foundation Scholarships provided in his name are given annually to students studying the arts. Many years ago, he donated money to create the Lila Moe Memorial Scholarship, named after Dick’s first wife who died in 1977. It goes annually to a female returning student studying the arts.

The Eastvold renovation is intrinsically tied to the Moes as well. They are co-chairs of the fund-raising committee and have made a generous donation toward remodeling.

Gintz family makes PLU community strong

Ingrid and Ron Gintz (both '70)
Ingrid and Ron Gintz (both '70)

They are known as successful business people, but Ron and Ingrid Gintz (both ’70) are more often referred to as volunteers and philanthropists.

The couple provides constant support to the PLU community and in their own Federal Way community, where they have opened their home to troubled teens and exchange students.

Now, they are arts supporters who envision the Gintz Family Theatre in the new Eastvold Auditorium. As primary donors, the family will see their vision become a reality when the Eastvold remodel is complete. This will be the first time that a "black box" style theatre of this quality will be available to the program and a meaningful contribution to the future for students at the university.

Woman’s gift guides scholars through the sciences

PLU students headed for careers in science spend a great deal of time researching and preparing for graduate study in their field of interest. One PLU donor hopes her recent contribution will encourage those research pursuits.

Anne Cary, a local woman that now resides at Tacoma Lutheran Home, gave an essential gift to fulfill a challenge grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust for the Natural Sciences Research Endowment. The fund provides dedicated students and faculty with valuable dollars that aid in summer projects.

Cary appreciates what PLU has done as an institution and is impressed with its graduates. When her daughter Helen, a medical technologist, died, the elder Cary wanted to find a way to support the field of medicine in honor of her daughter. The money she gave to the challenge now makes up a scholarship for a junior or senior student pursuing a career in medicine.

Honor Roll:

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Winter 2003 Scene Copyright © 2003 Pacific Lutheran University
Credits ~ Last Updated 12-20-2002 ~ Comments