Wards’ Legacy Gift Benefits Students for Generations to Come

Marion Ward (L) and Joseph Ward (R) were longtime supporters of the School of Education.

Marion & Joseph Ward

Joseph and, Marion Ward, were longtime supporters of the School of Education and chose to leave a legacy with UWM and the School of Education.

Joseph, who died in 2020 and, Marion, who predeceased him in 2016,  left the majority of their estate to the School of Education’s Lillian Fuller scholarship fund. Their significant gift will support students now and for generations to come.

“Retaining the students who desire to teach,” partly inspired Joseph and Marion to establish the Lillian Fuller scholarship in 2002, an annual scholarship that was endowed as part of their legacy gift to honor Marion’s cousin.

The decision to set up and fund a scholarship in 2002 in her honor was an easy one, according to the Wards.

When Fuller, a UWM alumna, died just short of her 100th birthday in 2002, she left some stock to her cousin in her will.

“We decided to give that to the university in her honor,” Marion Ward said in a 2015 interview. “She loved education.”

They all shared a love and belief in education and were very close growing up.

Fuller was the longtime house mother for Kenwood House, a women’s dormitory for students attending UWM and its predecessor institutions. She stayed on after Kenwood House became an international institute, meeting many dignitaries, including Eleanor Roosevelt.

Joseph graduated from Marquette University, and Marion Ward, who was born in 1926, grew up on a farm in rural Washington County. While she thought about furthering her own education, World War II intervened and she was needed to help out on the family’s farm.

Through the years, she and her husband remained close to Fuller, often traveling from West Bend to visit with her and hear about her experiences at the University.

Fuller stayed in touch with many of the young women she had worked with. When they were interviewed, the Wards were happy to share a box of letters and news articles Fuller had left with them. “Many of them sent her Mother’s Day cards and several attended her funeral and donated to the scholarship in her name,” Marion said in the interview.

The legacy gift from the Wards is a great example of how you can honor someone, while making a big impact and creating opportunities for others.

If you would like to help fund Student Success, please visit the Give to School of Education webpage.