Karen Woolhouse

Karen Woolhouse (BSc’65) never dared dream she could go to university. Despite having outstanding grades in high school, she knew her family could not afford tuition, and so she had no plans for her future.

But fate had plans for Woolhouse. Impressed by her abilities, one of Woolhouse’s teachers reached out to Ernest Guptill, the head of Dalhousie’s physics department. He then made a call to Woolhouse’s parents that changed her life.

A great start

“He told them I could have a scholarship to enroll at Dalhousie, and he would provide a summer job in the Physics department,” Woolhouse says. “He honoured both of those commitments, which gave me four wonderful years at Dalhousie and a great start in life.”

Woolhouse earned a Bachelor of Science in 1965, but it was the summer job that really opened doors for her. “It was the early days of computing and I did calculations work for a Physics department research project,” Woolhouse recalls. “That got me into programming and I spent my professional career at IBM doing marketing work, so Dalhousie played a key role in my success.”

Giving back

Inspired by the impact of Dr. Guptill’s kindness, and Dalhousie’s support, Woolhouse began giving back to the university through contributions to various initiatives and through the establishment of the Woolhouse-Wells Endowment with her sister, Judy Wells (BA’66). The endowment provides two scholarships to students studying music.

“These Dalhousie students contribute so much to the community through concerts and performances,” Woolhouse says. “The scholarships give them an opportunity to explore their passion, and help maintain Dalhousie’s connection to our community.”

Woolhouse has subsequently included Dalhousie in her will so that she can help provide a bright future for both the university and its students. “Dalhousie gave me the gift of a life-changing experience,” Woolhouse says. “My gift in my will is ensuring a life-changing experience for others.”

Learn more

If you would like to speak with someone from our Planned Giving team about making a gift to Dalhousie in your will, please connect with us via our online form.