Always Interested in Learning
But she never forgot that year of college at Lipscomb and often talked about her time there, said Bill Foreman, her nephew and a South Carolina resident. She even came along when he moved to Nashville to attend Lipscomb in 1971.
"She was always interested in learning," he said. "It was always very important to her for young people to get an education and move forward in life."
She showed just how important it was to her by leaving a substantial gift for Lipscomb in her will. Penn passed away on Feb. 13, 2013, having never lived in Nashville or attended Lipscomb again after 1941. But her gift will have an impact on around 20 students a year, allowing them to have the same positive experiences she had.
With the gift the university chose to create the Martha C. and George F. Penn Scholarship, an endowed scholarship to benefit any student deemed in need, said Paul Stovall, director of the Center of Estate and Gift Planning at Lipscomb.
"By leaving her gift with minimal restrictions, it allows us to help so many more students," said Tiffany Summers, Lipscomb's student aid director. "There are so many students who have access to federal financial aid or other grants and loans, but they still need $2,000 or so to bridge that financial gap to a Christian education at Lipscomb. Mrs. Penn has made that possible for many students every year for generations to come."
Penn was a member of the Country Club Church of Christ in Tucson, Ariz., at the time of her death. Her will benefitted Saint Jude's Children's Hospital, the Salvation Army and Gospel Rescue Mission in addition to Lipscomb.
Stovall said that wills are the most commonly used vehicle for planned giving.
"Anyone looking for an easy, hassle-free way to contribute to a worthy charity can do so by designating the organization in their will," said Stovall. "At Lipscomb, we didn't even know about Mrs. Penn's generous gift until after her death. It was a welcome and heart-warming surprise."
After returning home from Lipscomb in 1942, Penn later moved to Dayton, Ohio, and found a job on Wright Air Force Base during World War II. Her husband, George, was a military contractor when they met in Ohio.
Penn was committed to her church and family her entire life, enjoying cooking and entertaining, sewing and playing golf (she won numerous tournaments), said Foreman.
If you would like to know more about ways to leave a legacy through a will, trust or other deferred gift, contact Paul Stovall, Director of the Center for Estate and Gift Planning. firstname.lastname@example.org. 615-966-5251