McPHERSON, KAN. – McPherson College has announced an estate gift of nearly $1.7 million to create the Carolyn Beach Endowed Scholarship Fund – a permanent fund to award scholarships annually to students, especially women—pursuing careers in the health science field.
Carolyn Beach attended McPherson College from 1958 to 1960. She passed away on August 20, 2020.
“Carolyn wanted the resources she accumulated through her life’s work used to impact others with similar career interests,” McPherson College President Michael Schneider said. “The impact of Carolyn’s estate gift will be far-reaching, touching the lives of many McPherson College students.”
As a student at McPherson College, Beach fondly remembered several science professors, specifically, Dr. John Burkholder and Dr. Wesley DeCoursey, who laid a solid foundation for her future career in health care. She also competed in basketball and softball. She was influenced by Dr. Doris Coppock, a long-time former teacher, and coach. Beach chose to attend McPherson College because of its strong connection to the Church of the Brethren. She later transferred to the University of Iowa to follow her dream of earning a degree in medical technology. She lived most of her adult life in California where she enjoyed a rewarding career as a medical technologist with Kaiser Permanente.
“Carolyn was motivated to support McPherson College because she experienced the importance of personal interaction with professors and recognized that was still taking place today for our students,” Erik Vogel, vice president for advancement, said. “She also appreciated the college’s efforts to help students graduate debt-free through the Student Debt Project, the high job placement rate for our students, and the college’s ongoing relationship with the Church of the Brethren. Carolyn was further impressed that $1 million in local support had already been committed to McPherson College’s health care initiative.”
The Carolyn Beach Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide approximately 10 health science scholarships for McPherson College students. Beach’s ultimate desire was for her scholarship fund to enable hard-working students, who are excited about a career in health science, the ability to earn their college degree. Further, she wanted to give opportunities to other women like her by removing financial barriers that might deter them from following this career path.
This fall, McPherson College introduced the new Health Science program, which offers majors in health science and health care management. The program focuses on creating health-related career pathways for students while engaging them in the community. Partnerships with local and regional health care agencies, like the one with McPherson Center for Health, announced last year, provide students with hands-on educational opportunities in a variety of health care settings.