orchestra students

Why Your Gift Matters

For Amy Beaupre, Pacific University was a second family, long after she graduated in 1933. She was an alumnus and a professor at Pacific. She remained a neighbor and faithful friend throughout her life. And, upon her death in January, Beaupre left a gift that will support her lifelong passion for the school and for music.

Born Amy Spelbrink, in Minnesota, Beaupre moved with her family to Forest Grove in 1922 in an early Model A, driving thousands of miles over unpaved roads and camping along the way. They made their home on a farm near Forest Grove, and she fondly recalled evenings in the parlor, playing music together.

“Everyone made music,” she said, several years ago. Her brother played trumpet; her sister and father were on violins. Beaupre played the piano and, she said, “Everybody sang and sang and sang.”

She attended Pacific University from 1929 to 1933, studying music and political science, and found herself in high demand as an accompanist at chapel and other students’ music recitals. Following her graduation, she taught music for seven years at Pacific and continued her work as an accompanist, for everyone from local churches to the Portland Opera.

During that time, she also married Herschel Beaupre ’36, and together they enjoyed hobbies in horticulture, raising rhododendrons. He died in 1989, leaving her a small trust, with which she explored a new hobby: investing.

“She had always wanted to invest in the stock market,” said Jan Stricklin, associate vice president for university advancement at Pacific and long-time friend of Beaupre. She did well.

She followed her investments voraciously, even after she turned management over to her accountant, and she always knew just how much money she had.

When Stricklin visited, Beaupre would have stacks of Fortunemagazines at her bedside and news on the TV. She’d ask about Pacific, then they would discuss politics and investing.

“She always said she was just a farm girl,” Stricklin said. “To see that her investments did so well just made her giggle.”

Through her life, Beaupre made several gifts to Pacific, including annuities and outright gifts, like one that bought the instruments and sheet music for the formation of the Pacific Philharmonic.

“She was very proud of that,” Stricklin said.

Beaupre also long planned to use her investment success to support Pacific. When she died in January 2012—just four days shy of her 101st birthday—Beaupre left nearly $1.5 million to the University to endow a professorship in the music department and to support a student scholarship.

“She was so proud of her success in investing and, more than that, she was proud it was going to Pacific,” Stricklin said. “She had true philanthropy at her heart, and she thought of Pacific as her family.”

An excerpt from "Leaving a Legacy" in the 2011-2012 Annual Report. See more reasons why your gift matters in the Pacific magazine.