Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Cynnie and Terry Irwin, son of LSC’s 7th President H., Franklin Irwin, Jr.
Cynnie and Terry are pleased to make a planned gift donation to Lyndon State College for the purpose of growing the President H. Franklin Irwin, Jr., Scholarship Fund which provides assistance for full-time and meritorious students pursuing studies in certain academic disciplines, particularly English.
Gray Cargill ’90
Lyndon State College changed my life for the better. If it hadn’t been for the financial aid package and scholarships I received, I would have missed out on that experience, and my life would look very different today. Including scholarship money in my estate plans for Lyndon is my way of both thanking the college and paying it forward to future generations of Lyndon students.
Mike '70 & Cisi Flynn '72
Mike '70 & Cisi Flynn '72 have remembered Lyndon in their will.
I had not been at Lyndon long before good things began to happen for me. Graham Newell, for reasons I would learn later, took me under his considerable wing and I soon realized I could not fail this man. My checkered academic past would have to end and I would have to study! And so we did.
The first day of my second year I met Larissa "Cisi" McDonald of Plainfield. She, too, loved history and Professor Newell made room for her under that wing. Now I had two compelling reasons to stay at Lyndon and do well.
Cisi and I married shortly after graduation and eventually began long, wonderful, teaching careers at Lyndon Institute. LSC was, of course, just up the hill so we were no strangers - taking courses, attending events, driving Graham to and fro - and we could see that the LSC that had done so much for us was doing the same for later arrivals.
We continued to host Graham at our house frequently for dinner, watch and compete with each on Jeopardy, and generally enjoy his learned company. We prided ourselves on trying to mean to our students what he meant to us. That was a repayment of sorts. After his death we vowed to try to do what we could to insure that perhaps a few other young Vermont kids would find a Graham Newell amongst the new teachers on campus and also find rewarding careers because LSC exists and thrives. And because it does, little miracles happen there every day.
Sue Onsruth Smith '59
"I was the first in my family to attend college and I considered myself an average student but when I was first teaching in Wisconsin and New York State I realized that I had a better background in the methods of teaching than many of my colleagues educated elsewhere. Lyndon had methods courses that taught you how to teach. Lyndon provided me with not only an education but a wonderful career. Everything that meant something to me was centered around Lyndon, so I decided a long time ago that I would give back to Lyndon!"
Dick '53 and Nancy Collins
"Lyndon changed everything for me. Since Lyndon is more interested in what students leave with than what they bring into the classroom, it opens up the horizons of students. I am encouraged by Lyndon's continued recognition that students have different learning styles and learn at different rates. These are the reasons I support Lyndon's Annual Fund, encourage other alumni to do the same, and why Nancy and I have included Lyndon in our estate plan."
Gary W. Moore '71
"My degree opened up a whole new world for me! I feel strongly about the access Lyndon provides to Vermonters, especially first generation college students like myself. That is why I am a longtime supporter of Lyndon State College, both professionally and financially. In fact, my wife and I have included Lyndon State College in our estate plan."
"Having grown up in the area, I think it is critical to have a college in the Northeast Kingdom that benefits the region, my mother and her mother were both Lyndon Normal School graduates, and my grandmother, a lifelong teacher, later returned to earn her B.S. from Lyndon Teacher's College. As a result, the family viewed education as a necessary, life-forming experience. Because of their example, I took the road less traveled and attended law school, one of very few women at that time. I have a great life and appreciate Lyndon's role in nurturing my family's commitment to education. This is how Lyndon can transform the lives of first-generation college students and is why my husband, John, and I support Lyndon regularly and have included the College in our estate plan."
Peter Wright '94
When I was first asked to give to Lyndon, I thought, haven't I paid enough? Then it dawned on my how much LSC gave me, above and beyond my degree...it gave me my very best friends, my fondest memories and a sense of community. I give to Lyndon because I want to make sure that opportunity is available for years to come. Lyndon was there for me when I needed it. I take great pleasure in knowing I can be there for them when they need me. It really doesn't matter how you give at first...just that you make the gift.
David Z. Freedman '94
I started thinking about including Lyndon in my will about seven years ago when I began to come back to Lyndon as a member of the Alumni Council and started attending Homecoming weekends. Lyndon had an incredible impact on my life socially and academically - it provided me with a sense of direction for my career and certainly broadened my social adeptness. I truly believe Lyndon is an excellent place for anyone to study and grow personally and professionally and because I had this opportunity, I would like make sure others are afforded this same opportunity in the future.
Adding Lyndon to my will was simple. I had a conversation with my wife, asked my lawyer to include the wording of my choice, and we notarized it. Taking this step provides me with a feeling of giving back to a place that gave me so much.
My commitment to Lyndon is for life.
Marie Augustin '58
Marie read about the 2012 planned giving challenge in the Twin Tower Topics Magazine and called to let us know that she has included Lyndon in her will.
This is Marie's story:
Marie was born in Germany in 1924. Her education was interrupted when the Russians invaded and she was forced to be a factory worker. At age 30, Marie's aunt from Lyndonville, Vermont arranged for Marie to move to the United States to live with her. Marie arrived in New York by boat with .37cents to her name. Soon after arriving in Lyndonville, Marie's Aunt brought her up the hill to Lyndon Teachers College to meet with Rita Bole. Marie spoke no English so her Aunt did most of the talking. Marie had no papers to prove her education in Germany but Rita Bole enrolled her in a summer Education course and told her that if she was successful that she would be accepted in the Teachers College in the Fall. Of course Marie did succeed and she has always been grateful to Rita Bole and Lyndon Teachers college for giving her a second chance at life!
John A. LeMieux '83
Including Lyndon State College in his estate plans came naturally to John LeMieux '83.
"It was an easy decision to make. Lyndon State had a very large impact on my ability to be successful," LeMieux notes. He remembers how successful faculty members were at getting good work out of him: "They didn't let me slide by. They kept pushing me until the skill they saw as raw potential showed up in my work. Graduate school was easier for me as a result of my time at Lyndon."
In fact, one of his professors encouraged him to go on to graduate school at the University of Indiana in Bloomington. They actually drove together to visit the University and the professor used his influence at the institution to help get John admitted.
While this type of caring attention from the faculty was important, the overriding memories from his time at Lyndon come from playing basketball for Skip Pound. The great teammates he played with remain his friends to this day. As he remembers, "We learned how to work hard, how to play hard, and the difference between the two."
Since John can't put a value on what he took away from Lyndon, including the College in his estate plan was an easy way for him to give back to the College. When reviewing his estate plan, he realized that his wife would be well provided for in the event of his death. With this assurance in mind, he made a provision for Lyndon State College and his high school alma mater.
John offers the following advice to others interested in including LSC in their estate plans:
- If you're 21 or older, make sure you have a will, a durable power of attorney, and a health care proxy.
- Make sure you review your estate planning documents every two or three years, especially following major life events such as the birth of a child, getting married, or moving between states.
- When making a change, contact your attorney.
- Take an inventory of what's important to you. Is your family taken care of? Are your immediate concerns met?
- Then look to what's really important to you, your family, and your community and ask how you can make a difference. What can you give back?
John also notes that the simplest way to make a planned gift to Lyndon State is to designate the College as a partial or secondary beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan.
By including Lyndon State College in his estate plan, John feels invested in Lyndon on a very real level. As an alumnus, it keeps him tied to the school and he knows how important it is for alumni to remain connected to the College.