Lifelong Goal Realized by Alumna with Gift to Elmhurst College

Photo of Rev. Nancy J. Allison '65. “It has been a lifelong goal of mine to make a meaningful gift to Elmhurst College,” says Rev. Nancy J. Allison ’65. “The College truly changed the path of my life.” Last year, Rev. Allison made her wish a reality by establishing a gift annuity with the College. The remainder from her annuity will be used to establish a scholarship in memory of her parents, J. Roy and Mildred D. Allison.

“My parents were not able to attend college and would like that I can help others with this opportunity,” explains Rev. Allison. The Allison scholarship will support primarily students in financial need; secondary preference will be given to students majoring in music, in honor of her father, or education, in honor of her mother. “My mother thought until her dying day that teaching was the very best thing anyone could do in this world.”

Recently retired from Christ Episcopal Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, Allison was a pastor there for fifteen years and oversaw the church’s education and outreach programs. In addition to establishing a scholarship, giving through a gift annuity ensures that she will receive an income stream for the rest of her life, a positive as she enters her retirement years.

Rev. Allison transferred to Elmhurst for the second semester of her sophomore year. Traveling from her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania, she arrived on campus sight unseen in January, two days before the start of classes. She lived in Schick and Lehman Halls and graduated with a bachelor of arts in philosophy.

After Elmhurst, Allison attended seminary in New York. Subsequently, she moved to Scotland, where she lived for 11 years. One of the highlights of her time in Scotland was the eight months she lived on the island of Iona, one of Scotland’s most historic sites and a celebrated Christian center.

Upon returning to the states, she served as an Episcopal nun for eight years, before being ordained as an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. Throughout her career, Rev. Allison found that in most of her pastoral roles, she was the first woman to hold that position. “Once they got to know me, it really wasn’t an issue.”

Rev. Allison says, “My life has been full of these amazing opportunities, and that includes this gift that I am making. I feel a deep gratitude to Elmhurst College and am so delighted that I will be able to provide opportunities for future Elmhurst College students.”


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