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$1 Million Estate Gift Creates ISU Physics Scholarship

Shulaws and Karin
Illinois State University
Karin Pettit, far left, remembers Gladys Shulaw as a lifelong learner who valued art, literature, science, music, and culture. At right, Dale Shulaw.

A 1947 Illinois State University alum who dedicated his life to military service, and his wife, a stenographer and translator in the French Women’s Army Corp, have given $1 million to help fund scholarships for ISU physics students.

Dale Shulaw passed away in 1989 at age 68. His wife, Gladys Shulaw, passed in 2019 at the age of 101.

“Gifts of this magnitude allow us to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our highest achieving students,” said ISU President Larry Dietz. “We are grateful for Dale’s and Gladys’ vision and commitment to the university.”

Their estate gift will create the Dale M. Shulaw and Gladys G. Shulaw Presidential Scholarship in Physics. The first recipients will be named this fall. They will receive $10,000 per year, renewable for four years.

Dale Shulaw, who graduated from ISU with a bachelor’s degree in business teacher education, was active on campus, participating in the Business Education Club, Pi Omega Pi, the Men's Marching Band, and Men’s Glee Club, among other pursuits.

He later earned a master’s in education from Indiana University, where he pursued a doctorate in education before returning to military service in 1950.  

The couple met in France, where Dale, a World War II master sergeant, married Gladys in 1954 in Paris. Dale was assigned to the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). Gladys also was assigned to SHAPE. 

After marriage, they moved to the U.S., where Dale was assigned to the Pentagon in 1966. 

After he retired from the Army, Dale served on the staff of the House Subcommittee on Military Appropriations for 18 years. The couple lived in Arlington, Virginia, for the rest of their lives.

People who knew them say the Shulaws valued education. 

“Dale had a tremendous influence on my achieving an education. He stressed the importance of getting an education in order to succeed in whatever endeavor I wanted to pursue,” said Karin Pettit, who was 10 years old when she met Dale and Gladys in Copenhagen, where her father was stationed.

Karin and Robert Pettit were close friends of Gladys for more than 50 years.

Karin later became the first in her family to earn a college degree, and eventually completed master’s and doctorate degrees.  

Gladys valued education so much, she bought her first computer at 90 years old, picked up Spanish and practiced translating BBC articles toward the end of her life. 

“Most of all, the Shulaws taught by example,” said Karin. “They worked hard, were frugal, but enjoyed life and what they did have. They lived a simple life and were happy. And now, through their generosity, the Shulaws are giving opportunities to others.”

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