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Gift Planning

Martha McKinley Carvell ’67


Carvell_lg.jpgMartha McKinley Carvell ’67 was one of four Clearwater High School graduates who chose to attend Rollins in 1963, and she arrived on campus eager to learn and meet new people. As an undergraduate student, Carvell joined Phi Mu and lived in Cloverleaf Hall when claw-foot tubs still adorned the bathrooms and each residential room was peppered with antiques. The campus itself may have felt traditional, but her classroom experiences were decidedly modern. By the time Carvell came to Rollins, the College had nearly 40 years of experience implementing a progressive learning strategy called “The Conference Plan.”

President Holt, who led Rollins from 1925 to 1949, was skeptical of the effectiveness of traditional classroom learning that dominated higher education during his time. He described the traditional college lecture as “that mysterious process by means of which the contents of the professor’s notebooks are transferred by means of the fountain pen to the pages of the student’s notebook without passing through the mind of either.”  With the establishment of “The Conference Plan” at Rollins in 1927, gone were the lecterns in the classrooms; in came the conference tables where students and professors sat together. This new approach to conducting lessons compelled students to become more active participants in their learning experiences, fully engaged in dialogue between themselves and their professors.

When Carvell had the opportunity to sit around the round-table discussions herself, she excelled and felt more confident in her abilities. She particularly enjoyed the discussions in her English classes and eventually declared English as her undergraduate major. Remembering the experience, she remarked, “Rollins was a place where I found my voice and embraced my love for learning.” The conference tables still exist, and this method of teaching remains a beloved practice at the College.

Rollins left a lasting impression on Carvell’s life. Since her graduation she remains connected to Rollins. She served as a member of the President’s Leadership Council and annually supports The Rollins Fund at the leadership level. Carvell’s philanthropic style is to “give back when you have a positive experience.” Upon learning more about gift-planning options, she decided to include Rollins in her estate plans, leaving her alma mater an unrestricted gift to support the College’s highest priorities. Rollins proved to be a valuable place to her, and she wishes the same for other students for years to come.

 

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