Continuing the Legacy of Lone Mountain College
Louise Liu Wen '64, a graduate of Lone Mountain College, formerly San Francisco College for Women, majored in chemistry at a time when disproportionately few women studied and worked in science. She credits her professors with preparing her for a successful career in a male-dominated field.
To honor the legacy of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in shaping her education, Louise has directed a tax-free gift from her IRA to the Lone Mountain Legacy Scholarship that supports graduate students in the School of Education.
Louise planned on attending a state college after high school when by chance a friend referred her to Frances Kehrlein, who was the librarian at Lone Mountain College.
She became fast friends with Frances, whose enthusiasm for Lone Mountain College would eventually convince her to enroll there.
“Mrs. Kehrlein was in her 70s and needed an extra hand at home. Over the course of the summer, she persuaded me to apply to Lone Mountain College and helped me secure a scholarship that made it all possible.”
Often, Louise was the only female in her science class during high school. She relied on the mentorship and support of the sisters at Lone Mountain College to help guide her. Her favorite chemistry professor, Sister Lawrence, dedicated extra time to Louise and other students.
“I am so grateful to Sister Lawrence and Sister Hammack, who was my biology professor. They changed the trajectory of my career. I entered into a professional life early in my years when women weren’t expected to, especially in science. My education helped me develop as a woman in the field, and I went on to obtain a Ph.D. in biochemistry.
Louise’s college experience had a profound impact on her life and helped shape who she is today. “I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend Lone Mountain College, and I want to help support future educators. When the IRA charitable rollover provision was made permanent, I knew this was my opportunity to make a gift to Lone Mountain Legacy Scholarship.”
The IRA charitable rollover provides an excellent opportunity for supporters 70½ or older to make a tax-free contribution each year directly from their IRA to USF, and it also counts towards your minimum required distribution for the year.
“Making a gift through my IRA was very easy. I called my IRA plan administrator and informed them that I wanted to make a gift to USF directly from my IRA. They sent me a form to complete. Separately, I notified the university of my forthcoming gift to the Lone Mountain Legacy Scholarship.”
“It’s a win-win for everyone. I don’t have to pay the taxes on the qualified charitable distribution -- it’s completely tax-free and lowers my gross taxable income, which is the best part. I cut my tax bill quite a bit.”
With her gift Louise hopes to give others the opportunity to attend USF and honor the sisters who helped shape her personal and professional life.