Campus Connection

News for the WIU Community November 3, 2006   Vol. 22 No. 6

Couple Announces $20 million Planned Gift, Largest in University’s History

Western Illinois University alumnus Norman Teeter and his wife Dr. Carmelita Teeter of Memphis, Tenn., have made history at Western.

The Teeters were on campus Oct. 20 to announce their planned gift that will benefit Western at the time of their deaths—the largest planned gift in the University’s history. They have named Western Illinois University as a beneficiary of a $20 million trust that they have recently funded. The trust has a payout rate of eight percent, and the income from the trust will support Western for a period of 20 years.

Proceeds from the trust will be directed to The Norman and Carmelita Teeter Endowment and will support Western’s psychology department and international programs.

Over the years the Teeters have provided financial support for graduate assistantships for international students in Western’s psychology department. In addition, the Teeters support graduate research projects in psychology and have contributed to upgrade equipment in the psychology department.

“The Teeters support of Western Illinois University has been outstanding,” said Western President Al Goldfarb. “They have made education a top priority throughout their careers. We are so appreciative of their commitment to Western and for this recent gift that will make a difference in the lives of WIU students.”

A native of Mt. Carroll, Norman Teeter came to Western after serving in the military. After trying several directions, he reached a turning point when he began to focus on liberal arts studies, blending his interest in social sciences with psychology and specializing in substance abuse. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western in 1967. Carmelita received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctor of medicine degrees from Manila Central University in the Philippines. She received further training in psychiatry while completing her residency in Massachusetts.

The couple met while working at a hospital, both in the field of addiction, and married in 1977. Together they have established multiple drug and alcohol abuse clinics in Tennessee and Kentucky that assist recovering addicts. Since 2003 the Teeters have committed more than $100,000 to support students, research, and facilities at Western, including improvements to the International House, a year-round residential facility for students from all countries.

“We were always interested in helping students, but we did that on a more limited basis while we were working,” Norman Teeter said. “Later we started having some students stay in our home. Our interest in foreign students came from my wife having come from another country. We’ve helped students from the Philippines, Russia, Germany, Thailand and the Czech Republic.”

In recognition of their past philanthropic and altruistic endeavors, the couple was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Western at the May 2006 commencement exercises.

“We are honored by and grateful for the Teeters’ contributions to Western Illinois University,” said Vice President for Advancement and Public Services Dan Hendricks. “This generous gift will create fantastic opportunities for many students for years to come.”

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