Retirement keeps Linda Tuller busy giving, learning
Linda Tuller believes education and giving make an individual a whole person. The 68-year-old recent retiree now focuses her attention full time on those two things.
Linda volunteers throughout Topeka and spends time at Washburn activities like After Hours, plays and tailgates.
"I've made it a point to stay involved with the University and I feel very strongly about giving back," she says.
Linda, ba '90, set up a planned gift through the Washburn University Foundation and Stewardship Counseling, LLC.
"I've had that box checked in my will for years," she says of her gift to Washburn. "Now I have the parameters set up that I'm very comfortable with. I can give every year to things I support and Washburn will benefit forever with a portion of what's left."
Linda credits the many challenges and opportunities she faced as an adult with shaping her into a whole person. She married and had two daughters before age 20. Scholarships later helped her get a public administration degree from Washburn at age 43. Her daughters got married and she graduated magna cum laude in the process.
"I felt, ‘if I can do that, I can do anything,'" Linda says.
She later worked as a bank vice president before divorce and job loss within weeks of each other nearly took it all away.
Linda temporarily left her family, which included two grandchildren, and joined the Peace Corps. She spent two years in post-communist Romania teaching in a room where lights were not used and a different child brought her chalk each week for the slate board she remembers had "ridges like a rutted country road."
Seeing children eager to learn in that environment gave her a new perspective.
"I've tried to live a very simple life since then," she says.
Linda's estate gift will benefit the Donald C. Wright Business Scholarship. She hopes recipients can focus more on growing as a whole person and less on where their money will come from.
"I see the value of an education that is wide in its spectrum and helps us know ourselves better," she says.
She tries to connect with students in the classes she audits and recent graduates at Washburn Alumni Association events. She also tutors international students learning English.
"I think those relationships, showing interest in people and looking them in the eye are just as valuable as any gift," she says.
Linda worked 12 years for Hills Pet Nutrition and then three years for BOK Financial, formerly GTrust Financial Partners, before retiring. She now volunteers as treasurer for two churches, teaches Junior Achievement to sixth graders and crochets winter hats and scarves for children in need.
Her work with the churches has taught her that every gift makes a difference. She notices when parishioners who regularly give pass away without leaving an estate gift.
Having her plan in place means her legacy will live on forever.
"I would hope that people see the need to share their bounty," Linda says.
"I give to open doors to education. I graduated from this University, and I've put a lot of my heart and soul into supporting it. I trust the students who benefit will grow the same way I did."
Contact Jeannie Shy at 785.670.2734 or email@example.com to explore how you can help students or to set up an appointment with Stewardship Counseling, LLC.
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