Gordon 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
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
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.