Leaving a Legacy for Westminster Women
by Lisa Actor
I’ll never forget my lunch with Helen. A lively redhead with a lot of class, Helen spoke with passion about her time at Westminster College. “Westminster was a place where I could be myself,” Helen told me.
As a young woman growing up in Utah in the 1940s, Helen never quite fit in.Westminster was different. “Westminster was a place where my ideas were validated,” she said. “It was so liberating!”
As she grew older, Helen wanted to help young women with financial need attend Westminster. She created a gift through her will—$100,000 of the proceeds from the sale of her home—to create the Helen Elizabeth Hudson Scholarship. The purpose of our lunch was to discuss the scholarship that would provide student financial aid in Helen’s name in perpetuity.
Helen’s gift to Westminster was her way of thanking the college for helping her through a critical time in her life. “I don’t know what I’d have become without Westminster College,” she told me. “I hope this scholarship can give another girl a chance.”
What Helen didn’t share with me over lunch that July day was that she was a cancer survivor. I might have guessed by the vigorous way Helen lived her life. “If you really want something in life, you’ve got to go for it,” she said.
The last time I spoke with Helen, she was leaving on a trip to see the red rock country she loved. I called a couple months later to ask about the trip, and Helen’s daughter answered the phone. Helen’s cancer had returned and taken her life. I was so glad she had gone on that last trip. And I was pleased that I could tell her daughter that generations of Westminster students would benefit from her mother’s generosity.
I feel grateful to have known Helen. Many young women will appreciate the opportunity to participate in a Westminster education thanks to her foresight.