In May 2003, Hannah Gilliland graduated from Baylor with a degree in education and plans to become a teacher. Six months later, however, brain cancer took her life.
It would have been easy for her friends and family to simply mourn her loss — but they did more. To honor Hannah’s dream of affecting the lives of youth through education, her parents set up an endowed scholarship in Baylor’s School of Education. Each Christmas, instead of presents, her family asks for donations to be made to the fund in Hannah’s honor. Over the past five years, more than 300 individuals have given to the fund, and 23 Baylor students have already received assistance from the Hannah Marie Gilliland Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund in Education.
“Each year, I receive the most incredible thank you letters I have ever read,” writes Hannah’s father, Kip. “These students each have their own stories, but in almost every case, it is because of us that they are able to continue their education at Baylor. … I can only imagine how proud Hannah would be that this Fund is helping so many students in the School of Education at Baylor University achieve their dreams of becoming teachers.”
The Gillilands have turned tragedy into blessing for nearly two dozen Baylor students so far, with countless more to come as the scholarship benefits students in perpetuity. Because of the gifts in Hannah’s honor, her dedication to reaching lives through teaching lives on through today’s Baylor students — tomorrow’s teachers. To give to this fund or learn about starting your own, visit baylor.edu/give.
Sic ’em, Gilliland family and Baylor teachers!