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Gallaspy Trust to benefit Northwestern State University

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Relatives of the late Mary Rives Gallaspy were present to announce a donation from Gallaspy’s estate to the Northwestern State University Foundation.  The bequest will create the Mary Rives Gallaspy Charitable Trust and includes a large portion of property in DeSoto Parish. From left are NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb, Kathleen Gallaspy Myers, Dr. Whit Gallaspy, Virginia Gallaspy Garlington and Drake Owens, NSU’s director of Alumni and Development.

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                                    Northwestern State University
                                    Natchitoches, LA 71497
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                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NATCHITOCHES – After a life of educating and serving her community, the legacy of Mary Rives Gallaspy will continue to benefit others through a generous bequest to Northwestern State University. The donation, which was announced Friday, includes property in DeSoto Parish, as well as a monetary bequest that together will create the Mary Rives Gallaspy Charitable Trust administered by the board of directors of the NSU Foundation.

Income from the trust will fund two scholarships:  the Hettie McMullen Fincher Scholarship in Mathematics and the Mary Rives Gallaspy Scholarship for Business and Education. The Fincher scholarship honors Gallaspy’s aunt, who graduated from Normal, as NSU was then known, in 1908.

Gallaspy, known for her generosity and involvement in her community, passed away Dec. 10, 2010. She was born in Pelican in 1925 and graduated from Northwestern State College, now NSU, in 1946. She did post-graduate study at the University of Colorado and the University of Arkansas, where she received her master’s degree.  Several members of Gallaspy’s family, many of whom also graduated from Northwestern, were present for the announcement and spoke about her dedication to helping others.

Dr. Whit Gallaspy detailed his family’s long relationship with Northwestern and described his cousin as being raised and nurtured around people who lived frugally, worked hard, supported their churches and helped others.

“Among the gifts Mary Rives left to NSU is over 1,000 acres of the most beautiful countryside.  Beneath that countryside is the Haynesville Shale,” Dr. Gallaspy said. He expressed the hope that in honoring her wishes, the gift would serve to create scholarships and benefit students.

“I will forever remember fondly and cherish the memory of Mary Rives Gallaspy and do all in my power to ensure we honor and commemorate her memory and follow her example of kindness and service to others, as well as her generosity to Northwestern,” said NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb. “This gift is not only meaningful, it could be transformational and will likely accrue blessings for this school for years to come.”

Gallaspy taught business and Louisiana history at Pelican High School from 1945-1971. She served as sponsor of the Future Business Leaders of America, and transported many students to district and state meetings of this organization. She gave of her time to take students to musical events, conventions, and other activities. All who attended home basketball games during those years most likely observed her popping corn and selling it to raise funds for groups at the school.  She was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma, serving as MU chapter president from 1958-60 and 1968-70. She was Epsilon state secretary from 1959-61. For many years she was active in the DeSoto Parish Retired Teachers Association.

Gallaspy was a lifelong member of the Pelican Baptist Church.  She served as chairman of the fundraising committee for the new Fellowship Hall, which was totally paid for when completed. She donated a piano and an organ to the church in honor of her parents, John Baker and Lillian McMullen Gallaspy, a 1913 graduate of Normal, and her aunt and uncle, Hettie and Earl Fincher. In addition, she donated property for the expansion of the Pelican Cemetery, and donated several Pelican town lots to the Pelican Baptist and Pelican United Methodist Churches.

In addition to her career as a teacher, Gallaspy was the owner of Rocking G Farms, a cattle and timber business in DeSoto Parish. She established two subdivisions in the Stonewall area, Pelican Place North and The Meadows.

Through the years, Gallaspy was a caregiver to many elderly relatives and friends in her hometown of Pelican. After her father’s death, she and her mother moved to Shreveport. When her mother became ill and two of her aunts also needed care, Gallaspy provided them a home and met their needs.  In the last years of her life, Gallaspy was dependent on the care of others.

“This is a wonderful day for us and we are very appreciative of the way Miss Gallaspy felt about the school,” said Drake Owens, NSU director of Alumni and Development. “None of  us have yet realized quite the impact this will have on our institution.  Today is the start of a long relationship with the Gallaspy family.”


Written by demon53

January 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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