A 1954 William Woods University graduate who was chosen as Service Queen during her time on campus has left a $2.7 million estate gift to her alma mater.
Janice Gartshore died in 2011 at the age of 78, and William Woods learned of her gift this summer. The donation is in memory of her mother, Edna Seifert Gartshore, and is the largest estate gift WWU has received. The funds are designated for endowed scholarships for students in business, law and music.
“I am elated whenever any of our students have an opportunity to receive more scholarship funding,” Brenda Popp, chair of the business law and technology division, said. “I think the fact that a female alumna has given such a large gift to a professions-oriented academic area may be indicative of the changing female role in history.”
Cynthia Kramer, professor of legal studies, commented, “The legal studies faculty is incredibly honored by being included in Ms. Gartshore’s historic gift to the university. We will ensure that the students who receive the benefit of her generosity carry on her tradition of service.”
Born in Wooster, Ohio, Gartshore earned an AA degree at William Woods and spent the next 50 years living in Denver. She worked in the book department for Daniels & Fisher Department Store, which merged with The May Company and later became part of Macy’s. According to her obituary, books were her passion and she thrived in this position.
The 1954 yearbook, Woods Echoes, describes the Service Queen as someone with “an active interest in school projects, leading to valuable contributions to the welfare of the school as a whole.”
“What a perfect description for someone who later left a legacy that will impact William Woods University for years to come,” Dr. Jahnae H. Barnett, WWU president, said. “We are indebted to Janice Gartshore for her extremely generous donation to our scholarship fund. Many future students will benefit from her benevolence.”
In addition to being Service Queen, Gartshore was Y.W.C.A. president, publicity chair of Alpha Iota (an international honorary business sorority) and a member of Cosmopolitan Club.