Southeastern announces $3.5 million bequest, largest in university history
Contact: Rene Abadie
3.5 MILLION BEQUEST -- Southeastern Louisiana University recognized the largest gift ever made to the university -- a $3.5 million bequest from the late Joyce Capron Junghans -- at an event Saturday during homecoming festivities. Posed in front of the university's Donor Wall of Fame in Sims Memorial Library are, from left, Pat Williams, president of the Southeastern Alumni Association; Kathy Pittman, Alumni Association president, Nathan Bush and Tommy Bush of Bogalusa, cousins of Joyce Junghans; Wendy Johns, assistant vice president for University Advancement; and Southeastern Interim President John L. Crain.
HAMMOND – A bequest of more than $3.5 million to Southeastern Louisiana University – the largest ever made to the institution -- was announced by university officials at ceremonies on campus this Homecoming weekend.
The gift from the estate of the late Joyce Capron Junghans, originally of Bogalusa, will be used to support academics, including student scholarships, said John L. Crain, interim president.
“Mrs. Junghans’ generous gift is a demonstration of her love of education and the role Southeastern played in her early life,” said Crain. “It is the largest single gift ever made to Southeastern, and she expressed her desire that the funds be used to support students in their pursuit of their academic goals, especially in the College of Business.”
The official announcement was made Saturday morning at a ceremony in the university’s Sims Memorial Library, in which donors and their families were honored and a commemorative plaque was placed on Southeastern’s Wall of Honor.
Junghans’ bequest was made to the Southeastern Alumni Association which will transfer the funds to the university’s Development Foundation for administration.
Junghans, who died in 2006 in Waco, Tex., at the age of 82, was born in Marietta, Ohio, and moved with her family at an early age to Bogalusa. Active in the First Baptist Church of Bogalusa, she graduated from Southeastern with a bachelor of arts degree in 1944. While attending college, she was president of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, president of the Panhellenic Council and secretary-treasurer of her sophomore class.
Following graduation, she worked for the U.S. Department of Navy Bureau of Aeronautics and the Veterans Administration in Washington, DC, and in Yokosuka, Japan. Married in 1946 to William H. Junghans Jr., a career U.S. Marine officer she met at a function at Southeastern, she also worked as a substitute teacher in Philadelphia, Norristown and Bensalem, Penn., and in Waco where she and her husband retired. She returned to the university in 1994 for her class’s 50th anniversary reunion.
“They were a conservative couple who pretty much kept to themselves,” recalled her first cousin Tommy Bush of Bogalusa, who with his twin brother Nathan placed the commemorative plaque on Southeastern’s Wall of Honor. “As a military family they traveled around the world, especially Japan and the East Coast.”
Bush said his cousin and her husband lived very frugal lives which allowed them to accumulate their wealth.
“They had an interesting agreement: if she died before him, then the estate would go to Texas A&M,” he said, “and Southeastern would get the money if she lived longer than him. We like to think of it as Louisiana beating Texas in this case.”