Endowed Scholarship Supports “A Love of Learning”

Photo of Laura '71 and Robert '57 Hyde.Laura and Robert Hyde understand firsthand that with the help of others, modest beginnings can lead to much success.

Through a trust, the Hydes have committed a significant portion of their estate to Elmhurst College. They have also established an endowed scholarship, ensuring that future generations of students will have the necessary support to succeed. As Bob says, “This is what makes our personal struggles all worthwhile—knowing we’ve had a part in helping another to attain success!”

Laura and Bob were first-generation college students. Coming from a low-income family, Bob got his first job in eighth grade, in 1949, and began saving for college. Benefiting from scholarship support, he was able to attend Elmhurst.

Bob met Laura when they worked together at Marshall Field’s. After dating on and off for three years, he hid an engagement ring in a pair of gloves. “They were not something I would have worn,” says Laura, “so I refused to try them on.” At Bob’s urging, she finally tried on the gloves and found the ring. They were married a few months later and have been married for 43 years.

Laura later returned to college and chose to attend Elmhurst, where Bob was an adjunct professor in the evenings. They both eventually went on to receive advanced degrees. As they readily acknowledge, they worked hard to get through college and pinched pennies to do so.

Following his passion for education and learning, Bob became a history teacher, teaching sixth grade and junior high and then spending 27 years at York High School in Elmhurst before retiring in 1990. While at York, Bob established a History Honors program as well as a class for those who needed encouragement. As Bob says of his teaching philosophy, “I knew each student could succeed; it was a matter of finding where they could best succeed.”

After teaching second grade, Laura moved to library work. “Laura has always been a reader,” says Bob, “so I knew she would like the library.” Bob and Laura have been generous donors to the A.C. Buehler Library at Elmhurst, donating hundreds of books and videos over the years, including 150 holocaust-related books from their personal collection. As part of their legacy gift to the College, a portion of their estate will benefit the library, in addition to funding their endowed scholarship.

Explaining their decision to set up the endowed scholarship, Bob says:

“When we sold our Williamsburg, Va., condominium, we listed it much higher than the realtor advised. I suggested to Laura that if it sold, we take the profit and create an endowed scholarship. The unit sold in five days at full price! Obviously, it was God’s will as much as ours.”

The Hydes are confident that through their scholarship and through their estate gift they can make a difference in the lives of others. Knowing they are helping students, Bob and Laura agree, “is a wonderful feeling!”

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