Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Back to
Text Resize
Print This
Email This
Request Illustration
Download Brochure

Deferred bequest to impact the future through education

Deferred bequest to impact the future through education

"If I am going to do anything in this world, it will be through education. My life has proven over and over that an education helps people solve their problems and face life struggles."

Helen Johnson Ackerman '42

At 95 years old, Helen values education and cherishes the experiences she had at Northwest as well as her love for modern dance, physical activity and education. Recently, her experiences inspired her to make a deferred donation to establish The Helen Johnson Ackerman Scholarship to benefit students interested in studying modern dance or enrolled in Northwest's School of Health Science and Wellness.

She was twice president of the Modern Dance Club while pursuing bachelor's degrees in physical education and business at Northwest.

"Dancing is an activity that provides opportunities for young men and women to live a healthy lifestyle," she said.

Helen's investment in her own education took her around the world, and she has been associated with colleges and universities nearly her entire life. She also earned two master's degrees at Columbia University and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Growing up, Helen always liked school, and she dreamed of traveling abroad and studying other cultures. She began her career as a teacher at Lemay High School in Lemay, Missouri, and spent a year teaching in Northwest's in the business department during the late 1940s.

Helen later spent many years teaching abroad in Berlin, Germany, and Taipei, Taiwan, as well as domestically in the Washington, D.C., area before retiring in 1985.

"When I met my husband, we went overseas and I was able to fall into my teaching career. It ended up being the foundation for my life," she said.

Just as Helen did in her career and life experiences, she encourages others to find a place that provides satisfaction and a job that yields success.

"The longer I live, the more I am convinced that the one thing people need is more education," Helen said. "I am who I am because of the education I received at Northwest and the contacts I made in Maryville and my career."


One of easiest planned gifts to create and implement is a bequest in your will or living trust. It allows you to give any percentage of your estate as a charitable gift when a current gift of real estate or cash might not otherwise be feasible.

Consider these advantages:

  • It's simple to set up.
  • You're able to maintain control of your assets.
  • It provides a gift to Northwest in an amount you believe is appropriate, and you can still provide for your loved ones.
  • It provides an estate tax deduction.
  • It provides for a cause you deem worthy at Northwest.
  • It includes membership in the Northwest Foundation's James H. Lemon Heritage Society.
  • Leaves a lasting legacy at Northwest

Contact the Office of University Advancement at 660.562.1248 or
to find out about the many advantages of providing an estate provision.

Print This
Email This
Request Illustration
Download Brochure