An Enduring Commitment
The last, and most enduring, expression of a family’s commitment to education came this summer, when CSU, Chico received a gift of more than half a million dollars to support student scholarships in the biological sciences.
While much is not known about alumnus Duane Durkee and his beloved mother and aunt, there is a prevailing theme in their lives: the value of education. Duane had earned a BA in biological sciences from Chico State in 1966, and he, his mother Emilie, and his aunt Norma were all teachers early in their careers.
Duane passed away in 2006, and his mother passed away in 2008. With the passing earlier this year of Norma Haugard, Duane’s aunt, a trust that named the University as beneficiary was distributed. A part of the gift included stocks and a large number of coins, including 132 U.S. $20 gold pieces dating from 1852.
Jeff Bell, chair of biological sciences, says the department was thrilled to hear about this major gift to benefit students. “This wonderful gift will help numerous students pursue their dreams,” says Bell. The first students will receive awards this spring semester.
Sheilah Wenzel, a friend of Emilie and trustee of the trust, says all three family members were people who made a difference in the world in a quiet, unassuming fashion. “They were contributing members of society; they all did their parts but did so with no fanfare,” says Wenzel.
They were all interested in the environment, she notes, and that may have played a role in their modest ways. “They respected the planet—you could say they walked gently on the earth.”
To learn how you can create your own family legacy through your will or trust, contact the Office of Planned Giving at 877-862-4426 or email Gary Salberg at email@example.com.
(BA, Recreation Administration, ’82), a former firefighter/EMT, is an insurance agent with New York Life in San Diego.
(BA, Journalism, ’01) is a partner at FSB Core Strategies, a public relations firm in Sacramento.
(MA, Kinesiology, ’06) is the head athletic trainer at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo.