Alumna's Donation Benefits SOLES and Honors Sacred Heart Legend
While working full time in engineering, at General Dynamics in San Diego, Willa Ramsay attended night school and graduated from San Diego Evening College in 1964. In February 1965, she decided to quicken the pace and come to Alcalá Park as a full-time physics major at the College for Women.
Fifteen months later the San Diego native, who had been her class valedictorian at Grossmont High School, graduated with a bachelor's degree in physics in 1966.
But she didn't stop there. Willa taught at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in El Cajon while she completed her secondary teaching credential in June 1967. She earned a Master of Arts degree in science education, which she received from the College for Women in 1970. Her husband, David Ramsay, earned his own master's degree from what was then United States International University one week later. He took on the role as the official family typist.
"One summer she had to type practically a paper a night," says David, who takes just a little credit for his wife's success at the College for Women. "That summer, I typed about 500 pages. I was only a three-finger typist, so it was quite a trick getting it all done."
Willa, who later went on to earn a doctorate of education from the University of Southern California in 1975, has studied at many universities, but the one she still holds most dear is the University of San Diego. Willa still comes to campus regularly—sometimes even two or three times a week. She recently celebrated her 40th reunion and still loves seeing her former Sacred Heart classmates and professors. All those Sacred Heart lessons, friendships and memories were in her heart and on her mind when she and her husband decided to make a planned gift to the university to benefit the new School of Leadership and Education Sciences building, scheduled to open in 2007.
Their intentions were two-fold. First, she and other Sacred Heart alumni-from the College for Women and from other Sacred Heart schools throughout the United States-are working hard to raise the money needed to name the new building for founder Mother Rosalie Clifton Hill, who was the Superior of the Western Vicariate of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. And second, as an educator for 34 years, Willa wanted to do something to help future teachers.
"I taught at San Diego city schools and was the first female physics teacher at the high school," she says. "I absolutely loved every minute of it."
David and Willa, both physicists, also funded an undergraduate physics lab, which bears their name, in USD's Donald P. Shiley Center for Science and Technology. They are longtime participants in various Sacred Heart programs and other programs run by the Office of Planned Giving, and are members of the Puente de Oro Society. Puente de Oro, which means Bridge of Gold, symbolizes the people of one generation sharing their resources and values with those of future generations.
"We've lived here all our lives and we wanted to give something back," Willa says. "We believe in supporting the church and we believe in supporting education. What we need in our community is to educate people and to teach them the importance of giving back. That's why we give to USD."
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
Every contribution to USD is important. Whether great or small, donations like yours build the Torero future.
Meet Our Staff
We would be happy to answer your questions and help you with your gift planning needs.