William Woods University receives $2.7 million estate gift from alumna

Janice Gartshore left her alma mater money for endowed scholarships

William Woods University learned several weeks ago that alumna Janice Gartshore left the school a $2.7 million gift.

Gartshore died in 2011 at the age of 78. She donated the money in memory of her mother. Dan Diedriech, vice president of university advancement, said the funds are designated for endowed scholarships for business and law students.

“This one gift is going to generate well over $100,000 a year in potential scholarship opportunities,” Diedriech said. “That is going to make a huge difference in the lives of our students. We are enormously grateful to her.”

Diedriech said the university has asked Brenda Popp, chair of the business law and technology division, and Cynthia Kramer, professor of legal studies, for input on how the funds will be designated. The university is still deciding if the funds will be given as full-ride or half-ride, based on merit, grade-point average or service. He said students could be awarded funds from Gartshore’s donation as early as January, but by next fall for sure.

The tuition fee for William Woods for the 2014-15 school year is $20,550 — not including room and board. Diedriech said most of the school’s students receive scholarship or financial aid.

Gartshore was born in Wooster, Ohio. She studied business while she was at William Woods. During her time on campus, Gartshore was selected as Service Queen. According to a press release, the university’s 1954 yearbook described the Service Queen as someone with “an active interest in school projects, leading to valuable contributions to the welfare of the school as a whole.”

Gartshore was also Y.W.C.A. president, publicity chair of Alpha Iota — an international honorary business sorority — and she was involved in the Cosmopolitan Club.

After graduating in 1954, Gartshore moved to Denver. Diedriech said Gartshore kept in touch with the university over the years. She made several other donations throughout her life.

Diedreich said that before Gartshore died in 2011, she had hinted that she may be sending the university a donation. But, he said the university did not realize how generous of a donation Gartshore would be sending. Her last donation to the school is the largest estate gift William Woods has received.

Megan Favignano can be reached at (573) 826-2417 or megan@fultonsun.com.

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