Life is an adventure. We try hard to write our own script through the choices we make, but even the best laid plans can change in an instant. Linda and Tom Templin know firsthand how life can throw you a curve.
“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Linda says. “I could see it coming, almost in slow motion. There was nothing we could do.”
Linda and Tom were enjoying an afternoon motorcycle ride when they were struck by an emergency vehicle that ran a stop sign at high speed without its siren on. After undergoing multiple surgeries and therapy, both consider themselves blessed to be alive.
“The whole ordeal allowed us to reassess our lives and plans for the future,” Linda explains. “We take nothing for granted anymore and we decided we wanted to help those things that mean the most to us.”
The retired educator and firefighter changed their estate plans. One change was to include a scholarship fund at UW-L to benefit future educators.
“We love the idea of being able to give back to the students at my alma mater,” notes Linda. “We know our gift will one day make a huge difference for those who follow in our footsteps.”
Mary Lou Thornburg knows what it’s like to work hard to make it through college.
As a first-generation college student and the oldest of six children, she knew she’d have to fund college by herself. And she did. Along the way she worked many odd jobs and received two scholarships.
Now the retired Bridgewater State University physical education professor plans to help other college students struggling to get through financially. Thornburg has pledged a generous estate gift to further endow two scholarships honoring UW-L professors who left an impact on her.
One was Anna Thomas. “I feel a continuing bond in honoring her,” explains Thornburg. The other is A.B. Culver, whom she met through a national physical education organization. “I admired her leadership, commitment to the profession and dedication to UW-L,” she says.
These are only two awards to which she is contributing. She has established another scholarship and funded professional development for grad students at Bridgewater.
“Knowing the financial burdens on today's college students and hearing stories of many working several jobs and taking out loans, I decided I could help through my estate,” concludes Thornburg.
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— Keeley McConaughey, English major, emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing, Spanish minor — enrolled since 2009 — GPA 3.68 — dean’s list.
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