Love of education leads to $1.1 million estate gift


Mabel and LaVern Henderson

Even though LaVern and Mabel Henderson never attended Washburn, the University received a $1.1 million gift from the estate of Mabel Asenath Clem Henderson. This gift will endow the LaVern B. and Mabel A. Henderson Scholarship Fund.

Mabel Henderson, a native of Corning, Kan., named Washburn as a beneficiary in her estate because of her love of education. "Aunt Mabel and Uncle LaVern valued education and saw it as a way to achieve their dreams," said nephew Steve Wesley, Crossville, Tenn. "This gift is their way of helping future students get a college education."

"We are honored Mrs. Henderson chose Washburn for this generous estate gift," said Dr. JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn University Foundation. "Following her wishes and those of her late husband, LaVern, this money will provide scholarships for generations of students to come. This is a meaningful, lasting legacy to their lives."

Both LaVern and Mabel Henderson grew up in rural communities. Mabel had a 35-year career in government service, and LaVern worked in aerospace engineering.

"Aunt Mabel and Uncle LaVern were very quiet, giving people," Wesley said. "They knew firsthand that a solid education and a strong work ethic could lead to a meaningful, successful life. They wanted to pay that forward and help future students get a Washburn education."

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