Bernice Ingalls Staton was a descendant of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the "Little House on the Prairie" books. She moved to Eugene from North Dakota with her family when she was a little girl. She and her husband, Robert, met as teenagers and attended the University of Oregon in the depth of the Great Depression, but Bernice couldn’t afford to finish college.
Robert graduated from the University of Oregon in 1934, with a degree in economics, and became a successful insurance executive. During their life together, Robert and Bernice spent time in Bermuda, England, Kenya, Nigeria, and Lebanon.
In April of 2001, Bernice Ingalls Staton pledged $2,000,000 to the Lane Community College Foundation to establish the Robert W. and Bernice Ingalls Staton Endowment, funding scholarships for students of need and merit.
“I think education is terribly important, and I think that having this opportunity to go to college will change students’ lives and the lives of the families they will have… I want to help students who absolutely could not go to school without aid.”
Recipients of the Staton Scholarship include students pursuing degrees in career and technical programs, as well as transfer degrees. Bernice passed away in 2005, but her generosity and belief in the power of education continues to benefit Lane students as they pursue their individual dreams.