Betty Chesley’s mother, Rose Hull, lived her final five months in a nursing home. Betty helped bring fullness to the long hours now lived by a woman whose days had once been filled with raising a family, attending church services and enjoying needlework. Her mother’s death in 1984 left Betty wondering what more could be done to enrich the lives of nursing home residents – onetime neighbors, volunteers, and professionals who has shaped the communities that many could no longer enjoy. Betty looked into the elder care system, beyond individual facilities, to the source of the industry’s work force and leadership.
She turned to Mankato. Until her death in September of 2011, Betty kept a close eye on the University and its progress, and she enjoyed contact with students through the Rose M. Hull Endowment. Through this generous legacy, Betty continues to provide scholarships for students working in the aging field or taking courses in aging studies.
Over the years, Betty enjoyed her service to the University through membership on the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board, as well as attending the annual Chesley Lecture which was named for her contributions to the advancement of aging studies at Mankato. Betty trusted that the students receiving the generous support of her family would not only use it to advance their understanding of aging studies, but would take what they learned and use it in service to elders and the aging field.