Mary Ann and Charles Gwinn remain committed to promoting education in the community even after retiring from their former careers. Both graduates of Arizona State University, Mary Ann (B.A. history, M.A. reading education, M.A. counseling) spent more than 30 years as a reading specialist and guidance counselor while in the Phoenix school system. Charley (B.A. English, M.A. counseling), a police officer, taught at the Police Academy and achieved the rank of sergeant.
Active supporters of ASU and other charitable interests such as homelessness and the environment, the Gwinns solidified their plans to continue their support for ASU in the future during a meeting with their estate planner. "Various changes in our life necessitated an update of our estate plans," said Mary Ann. "When considering our future wishes, it was important that we make sure that some of what we left behind would make a real difference. Our advisor suggested we consider a charitable bequest."
Since both had spent their careers working in the inner city, the Gwinns focused their gift on helping future students achieve their dreams. They provided that a percentage of their estate will go to the College of Teacher Education and Leadership to create the Charles and Mary Ann Gwinn Endowed Scholarship Fund. "Charley and I know how much promise there is in the Hispanic and African-American communities. We want to provide the means for these young men and women to follow their dreams of becoming educators."
These days the Gwinns stay busy with their newest passion — carriage driving. They travel around the state to participate in five or six events a year. "Charley is becoming a more confident driver, and I'm therefore a more confident navigator and passenger," said Mary Ann.
It is because of alumni and friends, like the Gwinns, that the university looks to a bright future. "We are excited about all that ASU is doing," said Mary Ann, "and are pleased that we can be a part of it in some way."