History of Family Ties to Central Inspires Bequest Gift
Dr. William L. (Bill) Rankin, class of 1969, and his wife, Lori F. Nakahara, have recently named Central College as the main beneficiary in their will to establish the Rankin/Nakahara Scholarship. When funded, the endowed scholarship will be awarded to psychology and education majors at Central.
"Central College has always been part of my life. Since my grandfather, S. Bert Baron '09 was a Central professor when I was quite small, I would often go over to the college with him when we visited Pella. In fact, their home is now used by the college as faculty office space for the departments of sociology and anthropology. My grandparent's closest friends and neighbors were Central faculty. Also, my grandmother, Carolyn (Van Vleet) Baron '08, my Uncle Bob Baron '34 and my Aunt Marjorie Baron '32 were all Central graduates, as were my parents, Howard Rankin '42 and Mary Jane (Baron) Rankin '42 and my brother, Joe Rankin '73."
After graduating from Central College, Bill went on to receive a M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. Lori has two engineering degrees—a Ceramics Engineering degree from the University of Washington and a Mechanical Engineering degree from Washington State University. Bill benefited from scholarships as a student and believes it is important to provide scholarship resources to others.
"Central College has had a profound impact on my life. I found that a kid from small-town Iowa could compete academically with students from far larger east coast schools. I also discovered my interest in experimental psychology when Central hired three new Psychology faculty members in my junior and senior years-Drs. Jim Schulze, Ed Willis and Dan Gilmore. Their passion for psychology was infectious and rubbed off on me. Suddenly I had an academic goal—a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology! My liberal arts education at Central served as solid basis for my continued graduate school education and also fostered my love for theater and orchestra."
"Lori and I have no children, and our family members are well taken care of financially, so we have been helping Central for decades now. I established the Baron Scholarship in honor of my grandparents in the 1970s and then more recently Lori and I donated to the new Education and Psychology Building. When Lori and I finally got around to making out a will a few years ago, it was only natural for us to make Central College our main benefactor. I have, however, warned Central development staff that my favorite bumper sticker is 'Being of sound mind, I spent it all.'"