Long time member Elva Carroll leaves bequest of $500,000 for blood research at McMaster University’s Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Donald Arnold vividly recalls a patient he treated for many years.
“She was very intelligent and vivacious, with a thirst for life,” says Arnold, associate professor in the Department of Medicine and director of the McMaster Centre for Transfusion Research.
“I remember her well.” In turn, Elva Carrol ’51 remembered her alma mater.
“McMaster’s blood disorders clinic helped extend Elva’s life by about 30 years,” says her lifelong friend Stella Wilkinson ’50, ’81. “She was grateful.”
Carrol expressed that gratitude in her estate plans with a $500,000 bequest to the Faculty of Health Sciences. She designated her gift to non-malignant hematology, a field of medicine related to bleeding disorders and illnesses such as hemochromatosis, a hereditary disorder that causes the body to absorb too much iron.
When Arnold learned about the generous bequest to his area of research, “it was the most incredible and wonderful surprise.”
The donation will fund many new research initiatives at McMaster, as well as provide invaluable support for graduate students.
“It’s going to help us research how to better diagnose complex hematological diseases. And it will be sustainable,” says Arnold. “This is just an incredible gift. She was a remarkable woman.”
Remarkable, indeed. “Elva loved tradition and was loyal to family and friends to the end of her life,” says Stella Wilkinson, who describes her friend as an outstanding business woman who was “cheerful, sociable and hard-working.”
An honours political economy student at Mac, Carrol was a builder and a leader from an early age, active across campus in many sport teams and student clubs.
There weren’t many women at university in those days, recalls another friend, Evelyn Veale ’53. When Veale first arrived on campus, Carrol sent her a welcome letter. “We spent my first year on campus together and became very good friends.”
Carrol served as president of the Women’s Athletic Council in the 1950-51 season. In 1951, she won an Honour M Award for her contributions to women’s athletics, and an Edna Guest Trophy, given to a graduating student “who radiates the spirit of McMaster.”
After graduating in 1951, Carrol was a pioneer in the world of work, as well. She programmed and installed computers for five years, and then went on to a successful career as a financial advisor and account executive in the investment trust and securities industry.
An accomplished golfer, she also served as director of the Hamilton Automobile Club and was active with the Zonta International Society and the YWCA.
A long-time supporter of McMaster, Carrol was a particularly devoted Marauders fan, following all the games on campus. She was inducted into McMaster’s Alumni Gallery in 1984 and the Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
“Elva had a strong loyalty to Mac,” says Evelyn Veale, who adds: “She always enjoyed a good time and had lots of friends. Whatever she did, she put her whole heart into it.”
St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation received a wonderful $100,000 donation from Gertrud Taunton.
Gertrud is no stranger to the importance of excellent patient care. In fact, she operated her own physiotherapy business for 40 years before retiring to spend more time with her loved ones.Several years ago, Gertrud’s husband, Norman, was a patient at St. Peter’s Hospital. The high level of patient care he received made a strong impression on her.“St. Peter’s Hospital has been close to my heart for many years,” says Gertrud. “My husband was treated here and looked after very well for three weeks before he passed away. He couldn’t have had any better care anywhere else in the whole country.”After Norman’s passing, Gertrud expressed her gratitude by giving annual donations to St. Peter’s Hospital. Upon learning that the second floor gymnasium at St. Peter’s was a priority area in need of renovation, she was pleased to offer a gift of $100,000 to help refurbish the facility. Fittingly, Gertrud’s gift comes in time for June, which is Seniors’ Month in Ontario.“The Restorative Care staff are still in shock but extremely grateful for Gertrud Taunton’s generous gift,” says Brenda St. Amant, Clinical Manager of Rehabilitation. “Physiotherapy is a key component to every patient’s rehabilitation program. The Physiotherapy gym has not seen any changes in several years, so Gertrud’s donation will help us create a more organized and positive space to be enjoyed by all of our patients, their families and our staff.”
A plaque will be displayed outside of the gym in honour of Norman and Gertrud, but her motivation for making the donation has nothing to do with wanting to be in the spotlight. Gertrud feels that she is simply doing the right thing.
“Without donations, the hospital cannot function properly because it cannot update any facilities,” Gertrud says. “The government doesn’t pay for everything. Individual donors need to step up to the plate and make a contribution.”
The Zonta Club of Hamilton 1 was honoured at the 2010 Hummingbird Ball in support of the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre.
We have donated $100,000 and made a commitment for a further $100,000 in support of this new centre. Sixteen members of our club attended the Ball where we received great exposure and appreciation. President Anita accepted the award with a gracious speech on our behalf.