I was finishing up the second semester of my first year at UW-Whitewater when my mother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. The world my family lived in went dark. I was seriously thinking about dropping out of college because I hated the idea of being two hours away from my dad and younger sister. But that's not what my mom would have wanted. I remember the day I got accepted to Whitewater: my mom called me and asked if she could open the letter without me there because she was just too excited to wait (as was I). We shared that moment together, we cried tears of joy together. I remember calling her after each class on my first day and we would chat for hours about all the exciting new things I was going to be learning. My mom encouraged me to reach beyond what I ever thought was possible. And when an obstacle came around, she guided me through the rough terrain and helped me get through.
My mom wasn't just the greatest supporter of my dreams, but she supported and actively worked to help others achieve their dreams. She was a strong political and social justice advocate, an environmental activist, and a ray of sunshine in the lives of anyone and everyone that met her. Even though the depression she battled every day for over 20 years kept her from being as active as she wanted to be, she made sure she continued to support the people and causes that mattered most to her by donating as much to charities as she possibly could afford.
My mom lived her life in service of others. She was the most compassionate, charitable, supportive, inclusive, and genuine person I will ever have the privilege of knowing — and I was lucky enough to call her my mother! When she died on April 16th 2016, my family vowed to continue to live and love the way she modeled for us. We want to help her make a difference in as many lives as possible, even though she is not physically here anymore — her love and dedication to others is more powerful than death.
My family is working to establish an endowed scholarship in my mom’s name for the Women’s and Gender Studies department at University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. Endowing the scholarship allows it to be awarded every single year for the end of time! This will be the first endowed scholarship through the Women’s and Gender Studies department, which makes this even more special. The endowed scholarship requires a $25,000 donation. My family will be contributing all that we have in our personal memorial fund ($10,000), and the Women’s and Gender Studies department will be donating all the funds they have raised at their various events and fundraisers.
We will still need help making the Lynda L. Cutts Memorial Women's and Gender Studies Scholarship a reality. Any donation is appreciated and will make a HUGE difference in someone’s life. This scholarship will be awarded to a student who majors or minors in Women’s and Gender Studies, who has shown academic excellence, and is in financial need. Your donation to my mom's memorial scholarship will allow students to afford to complete their college education who would otherwise not be able to afford it.
Please share this with anyone you know. If you know of anyone who would like to make a larger donation, we would love to include their name in the scholarship description. Please consider helping my family keep my mother’s memory alive and help her continue to bring sunshine to the lives of others.
It truly means the world to us. Thank you so much!
Lauryl Cutts, Autymn Cutts, and Bill Hansen