Generous Donors Make Goodwin History Through a Birthday
What to do when your wife’s birthday is on the horizon — and you’re relatively certain that the “perfect gift” isn’t waiting to be found at the mall? For Dan Lyman Russell, the answer came in a moment of inspiration. To commemorate her 90th birthday, Dan and his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Kilgariff Russell, decided to establish an endowed scholarship fund at Goodwin College — the first ever in the school’s history. Not only would the scholarship mark this milestone in Betty’s life, but the Russells, who are East Hartford residents, decided to use her party as a way to encourage others to support the work of Goodwin as well.
On May 30, more than 150 well-wishers visited Goodwin to attend the party in Betty’s honor held at 195 Riverside Drive. Positioning herself at the main entrance, Betty greeted every guest, making time to share a personal moment with relatives, friends, Goodwin faculty and staff members, and local government leaders. A large gift basket by the door filled up throughout the night with cards and contributions to the fund as suggested in the Russell’s invitation.
College president Mark Scheinberg spoke briefly to the audience of the Russells’ innovation and generosity in creating the endowed scholarship. He added that he had made arrangements for a sizeable gift of his own to be added to the fund.
When the “birthday girl” stepped up to the microphone, she shared thoughts that were simple, elegant, and heart-felt. After thanking the guests, especially family members and travelers who had come from as far away as Texas, she added simply: “I am blessed,” before going to blow out the candles on her cake.
To be eligible for this scholarship, an applicant must be a student majoring in any course of study at Goodwin College; have earned 3.0 G.P.A. or higher; be in compliance with all policies of the Student Conduct Code;have demonstrated financial need; and be enrolled in the terminal year of a degree. Preference will be given to female students who are residents of East Hartford.
Goodwin sincerely thanks the Russells for their wonderful commitment. For generations to come, this fund will support and encourage students who are struggling to fulfill their dream of earning a college degree and moving on to a better life.