DONORS SAY WAKE FOREST CHANGED THEIR LIVES
John Cooper ('72, MA '73) and Lynne Eickholt ('74) say the Wake experience changed their lives, and they wanted to fund the things that held the most meaning to them.
As a result, they made gifts to the Wake Forest Fund, the Deacon Club and Z. Smith Reynolds Library, and endowed a scholarship for first-generation students. Most recently, they supplemented those efforts with an unrestricted gift through their estate.
Each time John and Lynne visit Wake Forest, they see more evidence of progress and positive change. Perhaps none is more important than the Magnolia Scholars program, to which they made an endowed gift. Lynne, a first-generation college student, was supported by her uncle, who had no more than a grade school education, but who believed that education was critical in life. Also a family farmer, he viewed his support as a tribute to his brother, Lynne's father, who served in World War II. That service allowed others to maintain the farm.
"We support the Magnolia Scholars initiative to honor my relatives, who made it possible for me to go to college," Lynne says. "I was the first in my family to go to college, even though at that time, people didn't think in those terms. When the Wake Will campaign started, one of the first opportunities was a scholarship, and that fit our interest perfectly."
The fund's first recipient graduated in December 2016.
They selected ZSR because it was where they spent so much of their time. Lynne studied hard in ZSR every night, graduating from Wake Forest summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is now in the health care industry.
"Every time I'm back, there's something new and exciting here," says John. "There are many more wonderful spaces now in ZSR to study, and that is as it should be. But the memories flood back. That is unchanged."
And it will all be supplemented one day through the planned gift, which John and Lynne believe will serve as a lasting tribute to their family.