9 A lasting legacy John was very observant of current surroundings as well, including the needs of his local community college and the services it provided to the region. He regularly shared with Olson that the College was a vital part of the area and whole-heartedly believed that the education NCC was providing to its students was crucial to the growth of the area. With John’s love of learning and his appreciation for education, including NCC in his estate plan was a great fit. “Happiness was sharing his love of learning,” says Jerome. In 2013, John made the decision to leave most of his estate to Northwest Iowa Community College. The estate was valued at over $1.7 million between his investments and the family’s farmland. He hoped his gift would further benefit the students of the College and inspire others to grow intellectually and with a skilled trade. John passed away as a result of a traffic accident in September 2016. He was 89 years old. John Bilsland will now leave his mark on the world in a new way. He previously benefited others through his work in the Army, through teaching the Spanish language and by sharing his scholarly insight with those whom he socialized. Now he will benefit others by expanding collegiate resources at Northwest Iowa Community College. John Bilsland may have led a very quiet and humble life, but with this gift to the College, his mission for learning and educating others will live on indefinitely. PORTION OF BILSLAND’S GIFT WILL BE USED FOR STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS John Bilsland’s generous gift to Northwest Iowa Community College will leave a permanent benefit to the students. Although the specific and detailed use of the gift hasn’t been determined yet, it will go towards one or more of the initiatives set forth by the Everyone Knows Someone Who Chose NCC capital campaign. Alethea Stubbe, College President, feels a logical place for a large sum of the gift is in the form of student scholarships. “Although we are still in the early planning stages of how to best utilize the Bilsland gift, I strongly feel John would have wanted a portion of it to help students who were in true financial need. Based on John’s past interests, I am sure he would find great joy in seeing his gift help a student who may not have been able to financially afford higher education,” states Stubbe. With this size of a donation much of the gift will be endowed, which means it will be invested and the College will provide scholarships annually with the interest I am sure John would find great joy in seeing his gift help a student who may not have been able to financially afford higher education. from the invested money. Because the original investment isn’t ever being depleted, the scholarship and investment should continue eternally. To put it simply, the Bilsland gift will continue to benefit the students of NCC with scholarships for as long as the College exists. Other initiatives of the Everyone Knows Someone Who Chose NCC capital campaign include enhancing technology and classroom resources campus wide, and improving facilities. The remainder of the Bilsland estate not used for scholarships will go to one of these other worthy causes. A formal recognition of Bilsland’s gift to the College will occur at a later date.
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