january 17, 2003


Freda BurtnerNSU Foundation Receives Largest Estate Gift to Date - $900,000

Freda (James) Burtner had several very important loves in her life...her husband, her job, her terriers, her friends and her alma mater. Burtner passed away in March 2002 and left her life as she had lived it, making a positive impact on the people around her.

With Burtner’s passing comes the receipt of the most significant gift ever received by the Northeastern State University Foundation. Burtner’s estate gift, which involves her home in Oklahoma City, her portfolio and a number of personal items, brings her contribution total between $800,000 - $900,000. According to John deSteiguer, executive director for the NSU Foundation, the funds will be used to fund perpetual scholarship endowments for the future.

“Freda’s is the largest estate gift the Northeastern State University Foundation has received to date,” said NSU President Dr. Larry Williams. “She has funded a scholarship endowment that will have an enormous impact on future generations of Northeastern students.”

Freda Burtner joins fellow alumni and supporters William Frank Tolbert, Kathlyeen Burnett, Donald Ernest Maritt and Belva C. Smith, who have made major estate gifts to Northeastern.

“Freda was a wonderful person,” said deSteiguer. “She did things in her life that she knew would make a positive impact in other people’s lives. Her estate plan, which is funding a major permanent endowment to support students, reflects her lifelong approach.”

A 1939 graduate of Northeastern State University, then known as Northeastern State Teachers College, Burtner held a bachelor of science degree and a lifetime Oklahoma teaching certificate in commerce and mathematics. She was an active member of several organizations including the Greek sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, and the mathematical society, Kappa Mu Epsilon. Burtner was a 40-year employee of the architecture and engineering firm, Hudgens, Thompson, Ball & Associates (later HTB) of Oklahoma. She and her late husband, Lewis Burtner, made their home in Oklahoma City.

Story Contact: Jennifer Zehnder, Media Relations Coordinator, 918.456.5511, x 2851