A Family-Style Pay it Forward Plan

Published: June 17, 2015

For the Reynolds Family, paying it forward seems to be the name of the game when it comes to education. For the past few generations, each one has paid it forward for the next. A few years ago, the Reynolds decided it was time to share outside of their family. Their generosity branched out and now includes two endowments for students at the College of Western Idaho.

The Parents – Drs. Ed and Mary Ann Reynolds

“Years ago, my parents didn’t even finish high school,” Mary Ann Reynolds said. “In fact, they only made it as far as the eighth grade, but they made sure they paid for my education.”

“My grandparents actually paid for mine,” Ed Reynolds said. “I didn’t have any debt, and they didn’t have any money left.”

The Daughter – Dr. Ellen Reynolds

“And they paid for mine,” Ellen Reynolds said—referring to her parents Ed and Mary Ann. “Even my kids’ and grandkids’ educations are all paid for, so I wanted to be able to give to someone else’s education. Plus, it was important for me to honor (my parents) while they are still alive and know a scholarship in their names exists.”

The Reynolds all know the importance of education. They have more than a few decades of schooling to their credit. All three are doctors. Ed, who is now retired, was a surgeon. Mary Ann, who is also retired, was a general practice physician. Ellen is currently one of three pediatric surgeons in the State of Idaho.

When asked why they chose CWI to establish their endowments, which are minimum $10,000 gifts made to the Foundation, the Reynolds all agree that education in Idaho can be improved upon. In their opinion, CWI happens to be the most reasonably priced place to start making the needed improvements.

“CWI is a great place for people to get going,” Mary Ann said. “We think you can get the most for your money (here).”

The Reynolds believe in helping people who have goals and want to change their lives. They also want to help provide opportunities for people who don’t have opportunities.

“College is more than just learning,” Ed said. “Whether you go to school for one semester or just one year, it is life transforming.”

Along with CWI, the family has five additional scholarships established in their names; three at other Idaho universities, one in Massachusetts where Ellen’s son attends high school, and another at a college in their home state of California.

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