Your Legacy at Work
A Lawrence-Downer Legacy
The Koller-Plischounig-O'Flyng Family Scholarship was established in 2015 by gifts from Elizabeth Koller Plischounig, Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1934, and Mary and Dennis O'Flyng, both Lawrence Class of 1962. The scholarship honors the education that Betty, Mary and Dennis, and their son, Kevin, Lawrence Class of 1991, received from both Milwaukee-Downer College and Lawrence University.
In the early part of the 20th century, Betty's father, Otto Koller, was a German immigrant baker who made deliveries to Milwaukee-Downer College. He was so impressed with the college that he vowed to send his only daughter to Milwaukee-Downer. Years passed, and the Koller family moved to Barton, Wisconsin, where Otto continued to be a baker and also an innkeeper, always remembering that promise.
She mistakenly knocked on the door of a Downer trustee who reported Betty's inappropriate request to the college. Betty was promptly called into President Briggs' office. There she was scolded for soliciting work in the neighborhood and for even "thinking" of living off-campus. However, kind-hearted Miss Briggs was equally impressed that Betty showed such determination and desire to attend Downer; thus, she arranged for a scholarship and a job (on campus!) to enable her to continue her studies. Betty graduated from Milwaukee-Downer College with degrees in biology and German.
Betty never forgot her father's dreams, nor the kindness and generosity of Miss Briggs. Following graduation, Betty married Frank Plischounig. Together, Frank and Betty became business owners for over 30 years in West Bend, Wisconsin. They started a gift and paint/wallpaper shop, which later became a gift, clothing, record and TV business. In 1955, Betty was the first woman elected to the West Bend Businessman's Association-quite a feat in the 1950s!
Mary Plischounig and Dennis O'Flyng met in April, 1962, during their senior year at Lawrence, two months before graduation. At this time, Lawrence and Downer were separate educational institutions. Betty's daughter, Mary, an English major, went through Lawrence the traditional route for those times, in four years. Dennis, with anthropology and psychology majors, chose to study at Mexico City College for his fourth year. However, he soon realized that he wanted to graduate from Lawrence, not Mexico City College. Thus, in Spring 1961, he called "long distance" from Mexico City to Registrar Dorothy Draheim to plead his case to graduate from Lawrence, requiring a 5th year of college. Miss Draheim replied quickly and surprisingly, "Of course, Dennis, you can come back."
Mary and Dennis, who married in March of 1963, often think of Miss Draheim's role in their lives, and how grateful they are for her positive reply to Dennis. Mary and Dennis were fortunate to teach their Lawrence majors in Wausau, Wisconsin, until retirement. Furthermore, they were lucky to have and to raise their three children there-- Kristine, Robin and Kevin. One of them, Kevin, chose Lawrence as his alma mater. Graduating with an anthropology major, Kevin credits Lawrence with his appreciation of all liberal arts and his ongoing dedication to painting as his chosen profession. He also credits the Lawrence London campus experience, the highlight of his four LU years, with whetting his appetite for traveling later to London in pursuit of graduate studies. On that journey he met his future wife and life partner, Lisa. Finally, Dennis and Mary appreciate Lawrence for many life-long friends, whom they see almost every year. Regular but informal men's, women's, or couples' gatherings with Lawrence friends have occurred in New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, New York State, Montana, New Jersey, Illinois, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin; plus international trips to Scandinavia and China.
Thus, through the Koller-Plischounig-O'Flyng Family Scholarship, the family hopes to give other students the opportunity to appreciate Lawrence the way they do--through both academics and friendships. But even more important, they hope this scholarship will help students discover their own paths to a fuller, richer, more meaningful life because of attending Lawrence.
Maurine Campbell '43 - Generation of Scholars
Maurine Campbell '43 grew up in Aledo, Illinois, raised by a loving and caring foster family who encouraged her to develop her innate talents by continuing her education. This was unusual for a young woman during the late years of the Depression, but she was warmly welcomed at Lawrence College with generous scholarship support.
Maurine thrived at Lawrence, majoring in English, and joining Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and Phi Beta Kappa honor society. After graduation, she moved to Chicago where she was employed for 29 years as administrative assistant to a succession of deans at the University of Chicago Law School where she delighted in correcting their grammar! Maurine enjoyed traveling internationally and connecting with Lawrence classmates, fondly remembering her transformative years at her alma mater.
Throughout her adult life, Maurine always remained grateful to Lawrence for her education and the scholarship support she received. She was a faithful annual donor to The Lawrence Fund, and also included Lawrence in her estate plans. Maurine passed away in 2011, leaving a significant gift to establish The Maurine Campbell Endowed Scholarship at Lawrence University. This scholarship ranks among the college's most generous, supporting a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior student with substantial financial aid each year.
Maurine's generosity reflects her passion and appreciation for Lawrence's unique brand of liberal arts education and her strong interest in making it possible for all students to receive a Lawrence education.
$2,000,000: A named "generation of scholars" scholarhsip
($25,000 each for one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and
one senior per year in perpetuity)
$500,000: A named full need scholarship
($25,000 for one student per year in perpetuity)
$100,000: A named partial need scholarship
($5,000 for one student per year in perpetuity)
Maria Poimenidou, 2020
"I am currently a senior double majoring in biochemistry and economics and minoring in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate the Theodore Diamandopoulos Memorial Scholarship, without it, my Lawrence experience would not be possible. I have enjoyed being a mentor in the CORE freshman mentorship program, playing and working for the Women's Basketball team, competing in Model United Nations, interning as a lab assistant at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, hosting a pilot STEM program for young unaccompanied refugees in Greece, and volunteering through KidsGive during a field trip to Sierra Leone. Thank you so much for supporting me in doing the things I dream to do."