UND Today

University of North Dakota’s Official News Source

Alumni Focus: For you on Mother’s Day

Honoring mom’s legacy

A Mother’s Day card Corinne Busek would write to her late mother and send to Deb Wilson, UND Alumni Association & Foundation associate director of development, together with a donation to an endowment in her mom’s name.

With Mother’s Day this past Sunday, chances are you did something special for your mom. Perhaps you bought her flowers or sent her a card to tell her how much she means to you.

For Corinne Busek and many others, Mother’s Day brings mixed emotions. In May 2010, Corinne’s mother, Phyllis Schaefer, passed away from appendix cancer. “That first Mother’s Day after she passed it was really hard because I had always sent her a card, and I realized I had nowhere to send it,” Corinne explained.

Before Phyllis died, her wish was to establish an endowment through the UND Foundation and the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences to support appendix cancer research done by her surgeon, Dr. Robert Sticca. “It was a way to help others and for us to keep her memory alive,” explained Corinne.

Phyllis Schaefer.

But Corinne wanted to do more. It was Mother’s Day 2011 when UND Alumni Association & Foundation Associate Director of Development Deb Wilson received the first of many cards in the mail.

“It was a beautifully handwritten message and Mother’s Day card to her mother,” Deb smiled.

Corinne had come up with the idea as she considered ways she could continue to honor her mother even though she had passed. “I decided to send the Mother’s Day card along with a check to support our family’s endowment. This is a tangible way for me to recognize and remember my mom on Mother’s Day,” Corinne explained.

Each Mother’s Day for the last nine years, Deb has looked forward to receiving Corinne’s card, handwritten note and donation to the Phyllis Schaefer Memorial Endowment. “In my 30 years of working here this is the first time I have experienced this, but it is just so wonderful,” Deb exclaimed.

And just as much as Deb enjoys receiving the card, Corinne enjoys sending it. “It just helps me feel connected to her. Rationally, I know I don’t need to do this, but I really love to do it,” Corinne said.

About the Author:Leanna Ihry

Leann Ihry, ’02, is an Impact Writer at the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation. Since graduating from UND with a degree in communication in 2002, Ihry, a native of Leeds, N.D., has had an extensive career in public/community affairs and local television media in Grand Forks.