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About the Bow Tie Run
By Ernie W. Webb III
Lucy Hesse and Sam Hesse had plenty of options to continue their education, but neither could imagine going anywhere but Washburn, a family staple for nearly a century.
“We’ve been going to football and basketball games since we were little,” said Sam Hesse, a freshman from Topeka who plans to major in pre-medicine. “And Lucy talked about Washburn extensively. It made a huge difference in the choice I made.”
Lucy Hesse, bba ’13, Topeka, also had a choice to make when she finished working on her bachelor’s degree – which law school to attend.
“Ultimately, Washburn was the best fit for me,” said Lucy Hesse, who began taking classes at the School of Law in August. “I got a lot of emails and some phone calls from other schools, but Washburn has always gone the extra mile.”
One could say the siblings’ family has also gone the extra mile for the university. Lucy and Sam Hesse are the latest in a long line of relatives who attended Washburn. Their father, Scott Hesse, Topeka, received a juris doctor degree in 1984, and their mother, Anne (Benfer) Hesse, attended Washburn in the early 1980s. Their younger brother, Peter, is a high school student at Washburn Rural and is taking courses at Washburn Institute of Technology.
Scott Hesse’s parents, Burns Hesse and Liz Hesse, attended the university in the 1950s, and Anne Hesse’s parents, Cornelia (Morrison) Benfer and James Benfer, received degrees. The family’s ties to Washburn extend to the 1920s, when Lucy and Sam’s maternal great-grandmothers received degrees and their paternal great-grandmother attended the school.
“Our parents have always been very encouraging and supportive, and they wanted us to make a decision on our own,” said Lucy Hesse, “but secretly I think they both wanted us to go to school here.”
Lucy and Sam Hesse were among 71 legacy students who received more than $30,000 in Alumni Association scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year. The scholarships are funded by the organization’s 5K Fun Run and Campus Walk, license plate program, gifts from individual donors and earnings from the Alumni Association scholarship fund established in 1944.
Scott Hesse said Washburn’s commitment to students has had a significant impact on his children and family.
“It means a lot to me that Washburn wants my son and daughter to attend its college,” he said. “Washburn has given them the chance to blossom. Washburn wants to educate the entire student to prepare him or her for life after college. That is what impresses me the most.”
When Lucy Hesse’s parents asked her what she wanted for receiving a bachelor of business administration degree in May, she recommended two gifts: an office chair and a lifetime membership to the Washburn Alumni Association.
Her reasoning for the latter?
“When I thought about it, I realized I could be fed for the rest of my life for free at tailgates and After Hours,” Hesse said. “That’s a pretty good deal.”
As a gift to his sister, Sam put together the office chair her parents purchased to complete Lucy’s request.