Donor Stories


Elizabeth came from a very poor family. She never thought she would go to college. A high school counselor (MacArthur High, Hollywood) told her about Stetson, told her it had a very good financial aid program, and he even loaned her the $10 to apply for entrance. Once admitted, Stetson gave her a full ride-- NDEA loan, scholarship, and work study. My family was working class closer to middle class than hers (Miami Beach, my parents worked in the hotels), and Stetson gave me a scholarship and work-study job.

We received very good educations at Stetson (we were not Baptists, BTW), but it is also true that our loyalty to Stetson lies in that financial support Stetson gave us, especially Elizabeth. Initially a young woman too poor to even think about going to college, she went to Stetson, went on to graduate school, for her PhD in Speech Communication (Temple University),was a professor at California State University, Hayward, then dean of the School of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. Her life was changed by that high school counselor who told her about Stetson (she had never heard of Stetson).

I had never heard of Stetson until I went to a high school debate tournament on campus, spring of my junior year (1962). Went on for grad work in American Civilization at Penn and taught American Studies for 38 years at the U of California, Davis.

A long response to the question of what motivates us to give to Stetson. If you examine our giving patterns you'll see we like to send gifts for programs that directly assist students.

- Jay Mechling


Student Surprise. Dr. Gillespie told me he will support Mario this year with his senior project and will start by paying for a roll of “Italian drawing paper” for him to use. It comes in a roll of 80 yards and is five foot tall. Mario shared one of his challenges as a student and Dr. Gillespie is stepping up! The best part is Mario does NOT know it is coming. It is a surprise.