When Sharon Keutzer ’66 was in high school, she couldn’t take calculus. There was no fourth-year math class for Tonica students, a community of about 750. Yet she ended up being a math teacher after getting her bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University.
Now retired and a volunteer teacher for seniors on subjects ranging from refresher math to history, she’s still interested in math education at Illinois State. So much so that she made a planned gift to the University and supports freshman math students through the Sharon Keutzer Scholarship.
“Knowing that it might make the difference between someone going to college or not going or going now versus having to put it off just gives you such a good feeling,” she said. “And we’re always hearing that the country is falling behind in math and science.”
Keutzer has made a planned gift, an endowed scholarship that will be funded from her estate. But she also makes an annual gift that’s matched by her former employer, allowing the University to award the scholarship during her lifetime and giving her an opportunity to meet the students.
“Even if you have a family to leave things to, you should consider other organizations,” she said, adding she also contributes to other causes. “One of the happiest days of my life was when I went around and handed out checks to local charities my mother remembered in her will. Everybody should consider something like that.”