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Elmhurst University receives $1.8 million gift from alumnus

ELMHURST - Elmhurst University has received a $1.8 million gift – one of the largest donations in the school's history – from the estate of alumnus George Howard Baechtold, a longtime donor and friend to Elmhurst.

The gift will support a number of causes and needs at Elmhurst University, including a new scholarship for students from underrepresented groups.

“George had the foresight to leave the designation of his gift unrestricted, and to be used for the institution’s most pressing needs,” said Valerie Day, vice president of institutional advancement. . “A portion of his gift will go to support the newly established President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which aligns with his passion and lifelong work.”

Baechtold, who studied math at Elmhurst and graduated in 1950, joined the U.S. Navy after graduation and served as an officer during the Korean War. After leaving the Navy as a full lieutenant, he went on to a career in law before discovering a passion for teaching. He joined the business law faculty at California State University Northridge in the 1970s.

Baechtold had a long tradition of giving at Elmhurst that spanned more than 43 years and encompassed support for everything from the chemistry department to the campus arboretum to the University’s American Dream Scholarship for first-generation college students.

Baechtold passed away on Dec. 7, 2019.

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