Major Gift Establishes Scholarship for Education Students

Major GiftA $100,000 gift from the Allison Cassens Community Foundation has established a new scholarship that will have an immediate and significant impact on education majors. It represents the first of several installments to support the Allison Cassens Scholarship Fund, which benefits students who want to pursue a teaching career at the K-12 level or in special education. It honors the life and legacy of the late Allison Cassens, daughter of Allen and Linda Cassens of Edwardsville. Allison was a teacher, an internationally competitive swimmer, a pilot and a flight instructor who lost her battle with cancer in 2004 at the age of 33.

“This scholarship fund will carry forward Allison Cassens’ passion for teaching - and notably teaching special education children - for years to come, through a new generation of teachers. It will make a great difference in the lives of McKendree students who want to pursue a college education or teaching career but are unable to do so for financial reasons,” said Dr. James Dennis, president. “The university is deeply grateful to the Cassens family for their generosity, benevolence and support.”

A trustee for 18 years, Allen R. Cassens received the 2013 Friend of the University Award for his consistent exemplary service. He and his wife, Dr. Linda Cassens, a retired professional counselor and the founder of InterAction Limited, have provided financial support for many university projects, including the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts, a natatorium and the annual fund.