Pfeffer leaves $2 million bequest to Ozarks

Release Date: 10/11/1999

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. --- The late Vera M. Pfeffer of Bella Vista has established the Eugene A. and Vera M. Pfeffer Student Loan Trust through a $2 million bequest to the University of the Ozarks at Clarksville, Ark. Pfeffer was a lifetime trustee of the university and modeled the bequest on an educational loan she was given by a former employer.

The fund provides low interest loans to "worthy" students seeking financial assistance to cover their educational costs. The initial annual interest rate for loans from this fund is three percent, but the annual interest rate drops to one-tenth of one percent for students who utilize the Pfeffer loan fund and graduate from Ozarks.

"Mrs. Pfeffer put a lot of careful thought into making this tremendously generous bequest," said Steve Edmisten, vice president for university advancement. "She wanted to help promising young men and women afford a college education, but she did not intend to offer students a free ride. Her gift gives students an education and teaches them financial responsibility at the same time."

Edmisten added, "Mrs. Pfeffer's gift reveals a special, elegant wisdom in that current recipients pay back their loans and thus replenish the fund for future generations of students." Edmisten said Mrs. Pfeffer and her husband, Eugene, were both able to attend college thanks to similar loans made to them by their employer.
Mrs. Pfeffer died Sept. 12, 1998, in Bella Vista at the age of 97. She was first elected to Ozarks' Board of Trustees in 1971, received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the university in 1988, and was named a lifetime member of the board in 1989.

Ozarks' Pfeffer Museum in the Walton Fine Arts Center was named in recognition of the contributions she and her family have made to the university. A collector of fine glass since the early 1960s, Pfeffer donated an exquisite Moser art glass collection to the museum in the 1980s. She also started a named endowed scholarship at Ozarks in the late 1970s.

A native of Arkansas City, Kan., she moved with Eugene to Rogers in 1966. Very active in the Presbyterian Church, Mrs. Pfeffer also enjoyed oil paintings, collecting antiques, gardening, flowers and animals.