In 2007, to mark the 108th birthday of Ellen Peterson Williams, Class of 1919, then the University’s oldest living graduate, Bucknell staff and students surprised her with a cake at her Williamsport, Pa., nursing home.
When Williams, a retired music teacher, died in 2008, it was the University's turn to be surprised: her estate included a $4 million bequest to the music department. Her gift endowed two professorships and a related research fund, plus two merit scholarships.
At Bucknell, Williams found that “We Do” was fundamental to a culture of good teaching that inspired her and which she shared with thousands of students during her own long career in education. Her thoughtful gift benefits current and future students while ensuring that her love of music, and the University, will last forever.