A Mother's Sacrifice Acknowledged Through Support of First-Generation Students

Benilda Regis Arinto Frey with daughter Eva and husband Steven

Eva Frey Johnson’s mother, Benilda Regis Arinto Frey, never completed her college degree. But that didn’t mean she, and her husband Steven, didn’t consider it essential.

“My parents have always been committed to providing an education for their children,” Eva said. “They have been saving ever since the day we were born.”

As a way of acknowledging that, Eva-PLU’s dean of student development and director of student involvement and leadership-and her husband, Kevin, have endowed the Benilda Regis Arinto Frey Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded to female students who, like Eva, were the first in their family to attend college.

Eva is quick to point out that, as someone in her mid-30s who works at PLU, she doesn’t have the money to make a sizeable one-time gift. Eva and Kevin’s gift to PLU is made in the form of a deferred gift-they named PLU as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy. The couple doesn’t have children, so this is a great way to honor the legacy of Eva’s mother by ensuring that, in the future, other first-generation students can attend the university.

When Eva and Kevin told Benilda that they were going to name a scholarship after her-and only her-she was shaken. “This is for me?” Eva recalls her mother asking, “Only in my name?”

As a first-generation student herself, Eva couldn’t think of a more fitting tribute.

“I came to PLU and was educated for the world,” Eva said. “I want that to be offered to other female first-generation students.”