Alumna’s Bequest Will Open Doors for Future Scholars

November 2010Diana Austin

“I never encountered a closed door at UCSF,” says Lindsay McCrea, who received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the School of Nursing, and now teaches nursing at California State University, East Bay.

Thanks to a generous bequest, McCrea will help ensure that doors continue to open for students and faculty committed to building on what McCrea calls “an incredible body of in-depth knowledge” of nursing science at UCSF.

The bequest will fund an endowed chair, the G. Lindsay McCrea and Edith J. Price Endowed Chair in Physiological Nursing, named in honor of McCrea’s 21-year partnership with Price, who died of cancer last spring.

Lindsay McCrea and Edith Price The two women met during McCrea’s master’s studies, and eventually built a life together that included a love of gardening – evident in the lush landscape that envelops the home they shared – as well as the succession of well-loved dogs that made up part of their family. Caring for others was a shared passion.

That passion spurred McCrea to look for an appropriate way to commemorate their life partnership after Price’s death, and the bequest to the School of Nursing seemed a good fit. Her estate will provide the funding to help support faculty research, with a preference for researchers in symptom management.

McCrea, who came to UCSF with an RN credential, cites the strong support she received from the School and from individual mentors as critical in enabling her to earn a fast-tracked BSN degree, so that she could pursue a graduate education in physiological nursing. She credits Chris Miaskowski, professor and associate dean for academic affairs, with leading her to her eventual field of doctoral study. McCrea’s experience at the School, and her general commitment to nursing education, led her to look for ways to help fund future generations of nurse-scholars.

McCrea says she was surprised to find that there are only nine endowed chairs in the School of Nursing, seven of which are fully funded, and was therefore inspired to designate her gift for that purpose. McCrea asserts that “symptom management is really at the heart of what nurses do, so who better to do the research?”

Making the gift in the form of a bequest seemed the most logical path to McCrea. “Edith and I were a practical couple,” she explains, “and a bequest has some very practical benefits.”

Potential estate tax benefits are one, but another benefit that is especially attractive to younger donors is that a bequest doesn’t alter cash flow during one’s lifetime. This means that a gift in the form of a bequest is within the reach of many individuals and families making long-term plans for their estates.

In the end, however, the reasons for making a gift remain simple and personal. When asked why she chose to make the gift, McCrea says simply, “It’s what Edith would have wanted.”