Humboldt State University

$230k Bequest for Soil Science and Natural Resources Endowments

Jean Shipman left Humboldt State University $230,000 from her estate in a tribute to her husband, a former professor at HSU. Her bequest will support endowments that fund the Mark B. Rhea Soil Science Scholarship and the Mark B. Rhea Environmental Sciences and Management Scholarship.

Bequest Donor

Jean Shipman

Mark Rhea was a professor of Soils and the retired chair of the Department of Natural Resources Planning & Interpretation. He started his career at HSU in 1953 and retired from teaching in 1983. He passed away in 2010.

Jean’s bequest honors Mark by strengthening the scholarships he started during his lifetime. Through Jean’s gift, the scholarship endowments will provide nearly $10,000 each year to students studying environmental science and management, with a particular emphasis in their respective fields of study.

Endowments work by investing a donor’s contribution long-term, using only the income generated each year to provide awards in perpetuity.

Jean and Mark spent their lives devoted to higher education. The couple met later in life, marrying in 1999 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Mark was a professor of soil sciences at HSU and Jean worked at Oregon State. She earned her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1964 and worked at Oklahoma State University for 21 years as an editor for the Cooperative Extension Service and as the public information officer for the College of Home Economics.

“Mark dedicated himself to educating future stewards of our environment. Jean honors and extends her beloved husband's work through a generous bequest to enhance scholarship funds in his name. Her gift will provide direct support to students of Environmental Science and Management and students of Soil Science. We are profoundly grateful for Jean's contribution to environmental stewardship,” says Dale Oliver, Dean of the College of Natural Resources and Sciences.

If you have questions about creating an endowment, or if you would like to learn about other ways to support HSU students, you can visit loyalty.humboldt.edu, email the Office of Philanthropy at giving@humboldt.edu, or call 707.826.5200.