Donor Voices

Sue Vastine '64

Sue Vastine"I give to Eckerd College with pride, with hope and with gratitude.

As a founding freshman, I give with pride. I don't think most of us really realized until later what a big gamble Dean Bevan and the founding faculty were taking in beginning FPC, and we were taking in choosing to be part of it. I am so proud to have been there at the start and to see what FPC/EC has become. 

I give with hope -- that my donations will enable present and future students to share my experience and that the lessons and values learned here now will carry them throughout their lives.

But mostly, I give with gratitude. In 1964, I had received an offer of a full scholarship to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, then the academic mecca for people in wheelchairs. I wanted to major in French but was told I could not -- all language classes were on the second floor in a building with no elevator. I would have to change my plans. I did. My Presbyterian minister told me about a new college starting in Florida, so my parents and I contacted a Dr. Tom West. He urged me to come down from north Georgia and take a look. He assured me they would do whatever it took to make the old Maritime Base accessible for me, and they did. More importantly, he shared with me their vision for FPC, and I was hooked! I will always be grateful to him for admitting me, and to my Western Civ. professors who forced me (sometimes painfully) to examine my beliefs, to write clearly and to be prepared to speak about my thoughts and to listen to those of others. I am grateful to my mentor, Dr. Everett Emerson, who gave me the idea of becoming a librarian. He encouraged me to persevere, even after three library schools turned me down because I was in a wheelchair. Emory accepted me, and now after 40 years as a librarian, I am recently retired. Over those years I've been able to stay connected to the College, and I know that I am one of many who will always be grateful for the FPC/EC experience."

Sue Vastine '64 and her husband, Paul, have been supporting the Annual Fund for more than 30 years.