Phyllis Walker Nicholas '55 and Bruce S. Nicholas: A Gift of Gratitude

Nicholas“I remember the greatest admiration I had for my father was for his honesty and integrity,” Phyllis Walker Nicholas ’55 says. “I began to see a loss of those qualities in the political and financial arenas, and generally across the country.” So when Phyllis learned that Janet W. Prindle ’58 had given a generous donation to support The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, she was encouraged. The Institute provides an environment for students to discuss honor, integrity and other critical issues, and this was an endeavor she wanted to support.

Recently Phyllis and her husband, Bruce, made another gift in trust to supplement the already established Phyllis W. Nicholas Endowed Directorship at The Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics. 

“DePauw promotes leadership and sends many leaders out into the country – corporate, political and community leaders,” Nicholas says. “It’s important that students think about their values and pass those on to the people whom they are leading.”

Phyllis encourages alumni to stop and remember what their years at DePauw gave them, and how those experiences helped strengthen and prepare them for life after graduation. “There are many ways in which DePauw helps students become good citizens and good family members,” she says. “It’s important to reflect on that and realize how DePauw helped them to develop those qualities.”

Phyllis hopes to see more people contributing to DePauw, and she believes that any amount is important. “My very first gift to DePauw was $1 my senior year,” she says. “Someone in my class had the idea to have every graduating senior give a dollar, which they thought would be a good way to start us out giving back. No matter the amount, it’s an opportunity to give back to the University.”

Phyllis is thankful for the experiences she had as a student. “In return, I want to help students who are starting out like I was,” she says.

Bruce Nicholas is a retired executive from IBM Corporation. During his early career there, he was plant manager of the IBM card manufacturing plant in Greencastle. It was during this time that he met Phyllis, who was a student at DePauw. Following his retirement from IBM, he started Bryce Office Systems, a small printer-manufacturing company.


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