Susan Files Conley ’67: Empowering Women Through Scholarship
Lisa Kroeger Murtha 1988
When Susan (Sue) Files Conley’s father passed away, she wanted to honor his memory using the money he left behind. Knowing he’d spent his life mentoring less fortunate children and sponsoring scholarships at his own alma mater, Iowa State University, Sue began thinking of deserving places to donate. Hathaway Brown School immediately came to mind.
Sue attended Hathaway Brown School from seventh grade through graduation. The things she treasured most about those years were her amazing friendships and the traditions—big and small. She has fond memories of Carnival, the May Queen ceremony, Ideo, Bless This House, “the brown and yellow jumper” she wore each day to school, “getting announcements every morning in chapel from Miss Coburn” and the traditional white gowns at graduation. Sue also, with great appreciation, remembers the fact that at Hathaway Brown School, “you weren’t just a number. The teachers were always pushing you to do your best and they really cared about all of us.”
Her first undergraduate degree, from the University of North Carolina, was a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. She later earned a nursing degree, studying first at Case Western Reserve and completing her BSN degree at California State University, Long Beach. She then spent 28 years as a school nurse at an elementary school, K-8, in Merced, California, where she and her husband have lived since 1978. They also have three grown daughters and two grandchildren.
Nursing is a career that helped Sue develop “compassion for and kindness toward others,” she says. Last May, just after her 50th reunion, Sue drew on those same qualities when she decided to establish an endowed scholarship for Conley Scholars—Upper School students with demonstrated financial need. She also decided to become a member of the Mary Raymond Legacy Society by naming Hathaway Brown in her will. Not only was she “astounded at what a phenomenal educational institution HB has become,” she also “loved the fact that HB is empowering women to excel in life, be all they are meant to be, and give back to the world they live in.”
Best of all, she’s ensured that her father’s spirit of providing exceptional education for others will live on for years to come.
The joy and benefit of a Hathaway Brown education is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Designating Hathaway Brown as a beneficiary in your will or trust is a wonderful way to honor the value of that educational experience, while helping to make it possible for generations of young women to come. For more information on this planned giving opportunity, please contact Terry Kurtz at 216-320-8799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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