UR Hall of Famer Betty Gustafson, W’47, seated, with friend Mary Murphy

Planned Giving

All-star legacy

In her Westhampton days, Betty Gustafson, W’47, was a multi-sport all-star. She excelled in basketball, tennis, field hockey, and track, lettering enough her junior year to earn the Blazer award. She also earned the Seal award, which honored her sportsmanship and enthusiasm.

But her biggest impact on UR athletics arguably came after her induction into its Hall of Fame in 2001. Soon after, a friend, Mary Murphy, further honored her by establishing an athletics scholarship in her name to support access and affordability.

The scholarship’s first recipient, JoAnna Ubiwa, ’10, was a track and field sprinter who majored in psychology and communication studies. Today, she is a licensed clinical professional counselor with a master’s degree from Loyola University and a doctorate from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

“[Betty and Mary] paved the way for me to be at UR,” Ubiwa said. “We stayed in touch for years after I graduated. They didn’t just give me the scholarship — they cared about me as a person and a friend.”

As the years passed, Gustafson celebrated her 80th and 90th birthdays with parties at UR, asking friends to buttress the scholarship fund in lieu of birthday gifts.

Gustafson, who died in 2016, also designated a portion of her estate to fund the scholarship, providing more support for generations of student athletes. Murphy has, too.

“Betty and I believed in using our resources to make a difference in their lives,” she said. “It just made sense to us.”