Whitsons leave $2.5 million to Cornell scholarship in son’s nameSeptember 26, 2008
MOUNT VERNON – A $2.5 million estate gift will further endow a Cornell College scholarship in honor of an alumnus who died of leukemia in 1974.
“Lee and Dorothy Whitson appreciated their college educations and believed in the value of education at all levels,” said Dianne Polasik, who was engaged to Frank at the time of his death and considered the Whitsons a second family. “Their gift to Cornell is in memory of a much loved son who valued his Cornell College experience and fulfills their desire that others will have the same opportunity.”
Frank Whitson graduated from Cornell with a degree in economics and went on to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa in hospital administration. His father, Lee, was involved in Boy Scouts and owned WR Medical Electronics Co., a medical device manufacturer in St. Paul, Minn., until his death in 2002.
Frank’s mother, Dorothy, was an executive officer for the Camp Fire Girls in New York and Minnesota and worked for the American Red Cross overseas during World War II. She continued her volunteerism throughout her life. She died on Aug. 13, 2008.
The gift will supplement the scholarship fund established in 1974, which has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to worthy students with need. The estate gift will allow Cornell to provide even more extraordinary scholarships to students.
“We were saddened to hear of the passing of Dorothy Whitson, who has been a friend of the college ever since her son Frank came to the Hilltop,” said Cornell College President Les Garner. “This extraordinary gift honors not only Frank, but Dorothy and Lee as well. Generations of Cornellians will receive their education thanks to the generosity of the entire Whitson family.”
The Whitson’s gift is part of Cornell College’s comprehensive campaign Extraordinary Opportunities: The Campaign for Cornell College which will continue through December 2009. The campaign will enhance the Cornell experience by increasing the college’s endowment, upgrading its facilities, and enhancing the academic program.
For more information about the campaign or making a gift, visit cornellcollege.edu/campaign.
For more information, please contact Cornell's Director of Media Relations