University News

Logan Scholarship Established

September 16, 2019


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MACOMB, IL – A 50+ year teaching career all began at Western Illinois University when a young man and his wife, with two small children in tow, decided to throw caution to the wind and leave their hometown 60 miles from Macomb in search of greater opportunities.

Bev (Logan) Trusley, the daughter of 1959 and 1961 WIU graduate Gerald "Jerry" Logan, along with her mother, Mary, and her siblings – Randy, Pam, Kim, Peggy and Jill – recently established the Jerry Logan Scholarship in Nursing/Education at Western to honor Jerry, who passed away in May at the age of 87, for his dedication and commitment not only to his career, but also to his family. Logan taught and coached for more than 40 years at Illini West High School (formerly called Carthage High School) and served as an adjunct instructor at Carl Sandburg College for over nine years.

Jerry met his wife, Mary, at Dallas City High School in 1949. They were married for 68 years, had six children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Bev said he was proud of his family, being a part of the Carthage community and Hancock County for most of his life, and of being a Western alumnus, along with 13 other family members who call WIU their alma mater.

"In 1955, mom and dad loaded up their two kids and headed to Macomb from Quincy in search of a new career. School was only two weeks away, and the dean told him that it would be impossible to get accepted, enroll, and find a place to live, but mom and dad were determined," Bev said. "By the time they left Macomb that day, he was enrolled at Western, they'd found a cold water flat to rent by driving around town and looking for rental signs, and he was able to transfer his full-time job at Kroger's in Quincy, to the Macomb store. Because of their determination, dad was able to get an education that led to a lifetime of teaching, coaching and working in administration."

After earning his degrees from Western, Logan served as a teacher, coach and administrator in Illinois school districts in Gladstone, Granville, Champaign and Mt. Morris, before landing in Carthage, where he taught history and sociology, and coached football and girls basketball. He helped lead the Carthage Bluegirls to 12 state tournaments, including two back-to-back state championships.

Bev said even following his retirement, he continued to substitute teach and helped at summer basketball camps, teaching hundreds of girls the fundamentals of basketball. He also spent several seasons as a softball coach.

"Dad focused on teaching each and every student not only about history, but about how to persevere, not give up on reaching goals, and to have confidence in their abilities and gifts," she added. "He excelled in the classroom, on the field and on the court, but truly excelled at teaching us lessons about life. That's his legacy - to education - and to us."

The WIU Logan Scholarship is designated for students from Illini West High School, transfer students from Carl Sandburg College or any Hancock County high school student interested in majoring in nursing or education.

"Many of his former students became his caregivers in his later years, and were a big part of both saving his life in 1994, when he had his first heart attack, and caring for him in his last days," Bev said. "The compassion that they showed him was a fundamental part of the life he lived by being compassionate and giving to others.

"Our family has always been great believers in WIU and the potential for a great educational experience with the same type of dedication and commitment that dad had," Bev said. "Dad was a wonderful, kind and giving human who made a difference in the lives of many people in his journey here."

Executive Officer of the WIU Foundation Brad Bainter said the Logan Scholarship not only provides outstanding financial support for area students interested in nursing or education, it serves as a lasting legacy to a WIU alumnus who gave back to his community, through both his career and volunteerism.

"Jerry's story demonstrates the incredible alumni we have at Western Illinois University. He persevered to make a better life for his family and to those he served throughout his career," Bainter added. "And now because of the Logan family's generosity, Jerry's spirit and giving heart will live on through the students selected for the Logan Scholarship."

For more information or to donate to the Logan Scholarship, contact the WIU Foundation at (309) 298-1861 or Development Officer Suzanne Woodward at S-Woodward@wiu.edu.

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
Office of University Relations