- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) - A Texas couple is paying it forward, having mailed a surprise $1 million check to Southern Illinois University to establish a scholarship fund.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan (http://bit.ly/1llnyXi) reports Marsha and Gary Bertrand of Austin, Texas, sent the gift to the SIU Foundation.

Foundation CEO Jim Salmo says he was aware the Bertrands were going to donate, but not a cash gift. He calls the mailing a “wonderful surprise.”

The donation will be invested, with those returns used for annual scholarships to middle-income undergraduate students from southern Illinois.

Marsha Bertrand graduated in 1970 from SIU with a business degree and got a master’s degree elsewhere. She said education has been essential in her and her husband’s lives, “and neither of us could have accomplished our career goals without it.”

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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