March 25, 2009 12:00AM
The Department of Mathematics received a big surprise this week when they were notified that an alumnae who passed away last year had left approximately $285,000 for math scholarships.
Viola Hutcherson, a PSU graduate who received two degrees in mathematics in the 1940s, passed away in April of last year at the age of 93. Hutcherson, who had taught math for 40 years and retired from the Kansas City public school system, left her entire estate to the university.
Her gift, which will be available to students in the fall of 2010, was presented to PSU on Monday. The money will be used to create a mathematics endowment, making nearly $12,000 available for student scholarships each year.
Hutcherson, who had been a consistent donor to PSU over the years, was an honorary life member of the Kansas National Educators Association, a member of the PSU Half-Century Club, vice president and program chairman of the Kansas Retired Teachers Association, and a member of the Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Kansas City, Kan.
“We were starting to have to cut back on some of the scholarships we awarded because things were getting tighter over the past few years,” said Tim Flood, chairman of the Department of Mathematics, which has about 60 majors. “It’s very exciting what has been made possible.”