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The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift
Estelle Greenwood
Scott Billhartz, Senior Director of Advancement Services & Stewardship, and Estelle Greenwood, outside of her home in Florida.

Estelle Greenwood, a retired educator, is the widow of Bart Greenwood '41. She became involved with McKendree when she and Bart organized alumni reunions from 1984 to 1993, in cities near their home in Florida. These alumni reunions were affectionately called "Florida Flings" as McKendreans who lived near and far, as well as McKendree staff members, would gather for fun and fellowship.

Because of these reunions, McKendree alumni were motivated to take renewed interest in their alma mater, and many re-engaged with both their time and financial resources. For his work in this process, Bart was awarded the Peter Akers Award in 1990 in recognition of his accomplishments.

In addition to their reunion planning, Estelle and Bart began a quarterly newsletter called "Open Line" in 1990. This forum allowed McKendree alumni to share their personal news, keep up with McKendree activities and stay in contact with each other. This publication lasted for 15 years, and further helped to increase alumni involvement with McKendree.

Estelle and Bart believed in the concept of giving back to McKendree. They became charter members of the William McKendree Society, supporters of the performing arts, Bearcat Boosters, and charitable gift annuitants. In 1996, they established the Estelle and Bart Greenwood Endowed Scholarship and they encouraged others to do the same. For her work in helping to promote alumni involvement without being a McKendree alumna, Estelle was given the "Friend of the University Award" in 2003.

During the Heritage, Heart and Hope Campaign, Estelle and Bart decided that leaving their home to McKendree would be their ultimate gift. They believed that McKendree could use this property to meet the most pressing needs of the University.

Estelle said, "Because McKendree was so important to Bart, we just wanted to do something special to "give back." We've made lifetime friends because of our association with McKendree, and we wanted to continue to give back. We hope that the students of today will have the opportunity to make their own memories. It was an easy decision to make, and I challenge other McKendreans to do the same."