Former Student Leaves 'Unexpected' Gift

Lori Harwood
Sept. 22, 2003

Anthropology students at the University of Arizona have received an unexpected gift from a woman who was a student in that department more than 40 years ago.

Nancy D. Sullivan (Class of '62) died in September 2001. Sullivan, who was a college friend of renowned Southwest folklorist Jim Griffith, left the bulk of her estate to her mother, Gertrude E. Epler, with the stipulation that upon Epler's death, the remainder of the estate would be given to the University of Arizona Foundation.

Epler died Oct. 22, leaving approximately $640,000 to create the William and Nancy Sullivan Scholarship Endowment Fund in the department of anthropology. Interest from the fund will be used to provide scholarships for students majoring in anthropology. Selection of the scholarship recipients, qualifications for eligibility and the dollar amount of the scholarship will be at the direction of the head of the anthropology department.

"The gift was completely unexpected," said John Olsen, head of the anthropology department. "It just goes to show you that you never know in education how you might be touching someone's life. Clearly, Nancy Sullivan had a positive experience when she was a student in the anthropology department and wanted to help ensure that future generations can receive a similar experience."

"I was thrilled to hear about this gift," said Ed Donnerstein, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. "In today's current economic difficulties, a windfall like this will go a long way to support our anthropology students."

The gift counts toward Campaign Arizona, the UA's $1 billion fund-raising effort. The campaign began July 1, 1997 and is scheduled to end June 30, 2005.


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