When John Lawrence’s wife, Winifred, was in a nursing home, he noticed how attentive and compassionate Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) student nurses were. After she died, her family decided they wanted to give something back to the college.
Knowing he wanted to make a substantial gift, Lawrence met with MCN Dean Janet Krejci and Director of Development Jenny Ward and began working on the Winifred G. Lawrence Memorial Scholarship, which is funded by an annuity. An annuity is simple and safe and guarantees Lawrence income for life. In return for the gift, the Illinois State University Foundation pays a fixed stream of income. In addition to the income, Lawrence receives an income tax deduction for a portion of his gift. For the rest of his life, Lawrence receives income from the annuity, which becomes an endowed scholarship upon his passing.
The income from his investment will grow into perpetuity and support the scholarship on an annual basis. In order for the scholarship to be funded today, Lawrence has chosen to supplement the income from his annuity with annual funds.
“We developed a way for me to invest our family money in the college, draw interest on it, and leave it in endowment forever,” Lawrence said. “I don’t think anything has ever given me or my family any more pleasure than to help somebody with their college education.”
Although he’s not an Illinois State graduate, he’s become a part of the University through his involvement. He’s met his scholarship winner, mentors student nurses, and has been appointed to MCN’s strategic planning committee.
“If I were just giving a scholarship and walking away, that would be something well done, but I’m not happy with that,” he said. “I like working with the school and take a great interest in Illinois State. We’re working on the future of the College of Nursing.”