Sterling College Receives Legacy Gift to Fund Endowed Theatre Chair

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dr. Colin Bailey and his wife Joan Bailey have committed an irrevocable “legacy gift” in the amount of $1,000,000 to fund an Endowed Chair of Theatre at Sterling College. The endowed chair will bear the names of Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco-Kling, who have taught in the College’s theatre department for a combined 81 years of service.

Though Dr. and Mrs. Bailey were born in England and were both educated at Leeds University, Dr. Bailey served as a gynecologist at the renowned Hertzler Clinic in Halstead, Kan., for 31 years, and the couple’s three children graduated from Sterling: Michael in 1985, Fiona in 1987, and Emma in 1991. Mrs. Bailey also served on the College’s Board of Trustees from 1992-2002. “(Our children’s) careers have given evidence that they each received a well balanced liberal arts education, giving them the tools to further their education in their chosen fields,” said the Baileys. “We wanted to establish a chair at Sterling College to provide a sustainable salary that would attract top professors.”

The Baileys chose the theatre department for the endowed chair because “(w)hile each of our children majored in different subject areas at Sterling, they all had a common experience in their activities in theatre and forensics. Their lives were guided and influenced by the teaching and modeling of Professors Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco-Kling.
“By having this endowed chair bear their names, we hope to honor their service to hundreds of students over the years that were blessed like our children were. We also hope that this will continue the high standards and tradition that Gordon and Diane have created for the Sterling College Theatre Department.”

The endowed chair was announced at the College during the February 10 chapel service. “We are surprised, humbled, and honored that the Baileys chose to endow a chair in our names. We were privileged to work with their children--Fiona, Michael, and Emma –during their days at Sterling College and have appreciated the support of Dr. Colin and Joan through the years,” said Professors Gordon Kling and Diane DeFranco Kling. “We are thankful for the love, generosity, and foresight that the Baileys have shown in creating this endowment. They are an inspiration to us of service and faith.”

“This is an investment in the theatre program that will impact generations of students,” said Dr. Paul J. Maurer, president of Sterling. “On behalf of the College, I thank Dr. and Mrs. Bailey for their generosity, and I thank Gordon and Diane for their years of dedicated service that inspired such a gift.”

The College will receive the gift from Dr. Bailey’s estate. Dr. and Mrs. Bailey signed over ownership on a paid-up life insurance policy on Dr. Bailey. “We encourage other friends of Sterling College to consider making similar gifts like this,” said the Baileys. “We believe that endowing the teaching that takes place at Sterling offers three positives. It strengthens the College financially, it ensures quality instruction, and it ultimately benefits the students of Sterling as was the case with our children.”