Nancy Gulker ’93
Education: A Gift That Can Never Be Taken Away

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Nancy Gulker ’93

Nancy Gulker grew up in a football-loving family. Her father and brother were avid college football fans, and when FAU started its football season Nancy became a founding ticketholder. She still does not miss a home game. Nancy is very proud of the growth she has seen at FAU since her graduation in 1993. The football stadium, new academic buildings and dorms, athletics and academic programs all fill Nancy with “massive school pride,” in her words.

Nancy came to FAU after earning her associate’s degree in Miami. She loved living on campus, and was just far enough from home to feel independent. An outdoors person, she liked being close to the beach. She also liked her small class sizes and the ability to connect with professors. A favorite class was Dr. Marsha Rose’s Culture & Society. “It was amazing,” she shared.

Unfortunately, sad events led to her decision to create an estate plan early in life. Her father died shortly after her graduation in 1993. Her mother and brother tragically followed soon after, and Nancy was left without a family. Her brother died without a will and she learned first-hand how important it was to have one. “Life is unexpected,” she offered. “Even though we don’t like thinking about wills, everyone should have one.” Because she loved her time at FAU, she decided to leave the bulk of her estate to the University.

Nancy herself was diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Before going into surgery she updated her plans to be more specific about how her gift should be used. She decided to give where she felt the closest connection to her school and designated her future gift for student athletic scholarships. She hopes to help athletes, women especially, achieve their dreams of college. She has also included a volunteer requirement in her scholarship. “It’s important to pass strong values to the next generation,” she said. “On Thanksgiving, my mom had us feed the homeless at a local shelter before we could enjoy the family turkey. She set the example that everyone can and should give back.”

She now serves as the recreation program coordinator for Brevard County Parks and Recreation, helping young people enjoy sports and Florida’s great outdoors. Nancy is very proud and happy to know her bequest will help FAU students in perpetuity. “I made a lot of friends at FAU. They are like my family. And even though much was taken away from me, as my grandfather said, ‘You cannot take away someone’s education.’ Through this gift plan I can give future generations something that can never be taken away.”

 

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