Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University's Office of Planned Giving announced that the College of Education and Public Service has been named the recipient of a recent bequest totaling more than $500,000. The generous gift was made by the estate of Verda Bersch, an alumna of the college and a retired educator.

"Verda Bersch's generous gift to the college will allow us to pursue educational projects that were not possible without her support," said Ann Rule, interim dean of the college. "This posthumous gift is appreciated by all in the College of Education and Public Service."

A native St. Louisan, Bersch taught fourth and fifth grades in the Ferguson-Florissant school district for more than 30 years. She retired in 1978. She also taught in SLU's summer reading programs for 14 years, working with children from local Catholic elementary schools.

Bersch included Saint Louis University in her estate because she appreciated the Jesuit education she received at SLU; she designated the College of Education and Public Service as the recipient of her gift because she believed that educating teachers was the key to improving the lives of children.

Bersch, who was 100 years old at the time of her death earlier this year, had previously given to the college in memory of her sister, Vera Bersch, also an alumna of the college. A member of Little Flower parish, she lived with her sister in their Clayton home for 50 years.