Bethel College Receives Major Gift From the Estate of Two Women Scholars

Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, has reported that the estate of two alumnae has made a major gift to the college. Dorothea and Ruth Franzen, who were sisters, both had long careers in the academic world.

Dorothea Franzen, who died in 2008, was an authority on mollusks. In 2003 she donated her terrestrial snail collection to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Bethel College in 1937 and the was the first woman graduate of the college to earn a Ph.D. She taught at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

Ruth Franzen, who died in 2011, spent her entire career in the academic world. A 1944 graduate of Bethel College, she taught for 30 years on the faculty of design, housing, and apparel at the University of Minnesota. She also served on the faculty at Kansas State University and the University of Kansas.

Part of the Franzens’ seven-figure gift will be set aside to create an endowment that will be used to purchase scientific equipment for the college. The remainder of the donation will be used to upgrade campus facilities.

Filed Under: Grants


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