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Penn Medicine Office of Planned Giving

Gordon W. Webster, M’58

websterGordon W. Webster, M.D., remembers something his parents said during a discussion about his medical school tuition: “It will be hard,” they said, “but we will find a way.”

And his parents, an actuary and a homemaker, did just that. Dr. Webster went on to earn his medical degree from Penn, his parents’ alma mater, after completing his undergraduate studies at Brown University. This winter, Gordon and Joan Webster, his wife of 45 years, chose to honor his parents’ memory by creating a charitable remainder trust that will ultimately establish the Lindsay M. Webster, C ’25, & Marcia A. Webster, Ed ’29, Endowed Scholarship.

“My parents did not have a lot of money, but they were generous and always, always stressed education,” says Dr. Webster, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. “Even with his six grandchildren, my father gave them a small amount of money each month, which he hoped they would use for graduate school.”

Both of the elder Websters were the first in their families to attend college. Lindsay graduated with a degree in English; Marcia became a teacher, then a homemaker. They lived in the same house in Drexel Hill for 60 years. “Penn was a large presence in their lives,” says Dr. Webster. In fact, he and Joan, a fellow Brown graduate, met through his parents’ Penn friends.

After graduating from Penn, Dr. Webster began an internship at Lankenau Hospital. Military service in Korea soon followed, after which he completed one year of medical residency at Hartford Hospital and two at Lankenau Hospital. Dr. Webster enjoyed a 33-year career as an internist at Lankenau Hospital with a private practice in Havertown, where Joan was office manager. They retired in 1997.

The high cost of medical education influenced their decision to support scholarships. “Today’s students are in debt and that is a terrible burden,” says Joan. “We wanted to offer them the same opportunity we had — no debt at graduation.”

The Websters say their philosophy of giving is not related to wealth but to helping other students — and their parents — “find a way.” “We are not rich,” they say, “but giving to Penn will benefit so many.”

The Websters’s gift of a charitable remainder unitrust, with its tax advantages and payment stream, helped them find a way to make a significant gift to scholarships while enhancing their own financial future.

Penn Medicine
Office of Planned Giving
Christine S. Ewan, J.D.
Executive Director, Planned Giving
3535 Market Street, Suite 750
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3309
215-898-9486 | Fax: 215-573-2186
E-mail: cewan@upenn.edu

 

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