Click here to go back to the home page Click on this link to view the screenreader friendly and text only version of this website

Kindergarten Teacher Bequeaths $2.5 Million to National Louis University


 Oct. 31, 2017 


A kindergarten teacher who walked to work even in howling winter weather has left $2.5 million to National Louis University in Chicago, from which she graduated in 1954.

Mary Bullock of Geneva, Illinois, who spent 40 years teaching in School District 45, based in Villa Park, Ill., left the gift to NLU’s National College of Education. The school will use it as an endowed scholarship fund to support scholarships for early childhood educators. National Louis has received $2.25 million so far from Bullock’s estate, and expects to receive $250,000 more. Bullock was also a regular donor to the university’s annual fund.

“We are extremely grateful to Ms. Bullock, and moved that she so valued her NLU/National College of Education experience in preparing her to transform the lives of her own young students,” said Carole Wood, vice president of institutional advancement at NLU.

“We’re also proud that she touched the lives of so many students over her four decades of teaching.”

In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Bullock returned to NLU to obtain a master’s degree in 1964. She passed away last year at age 85.

Bullock’s colleagues and sister remembered her as a teacher strongly devoted to her young students.

“What a pleasant lady she was; always smiling,” said Dennis Gagnon, who served as Bullock’s principal for a portion of her career.  “I remember the time Mary broke her wrist. She felt it was more important to be at school with the children than to probably get her wrist casted! She said she would take care of it that evening. She did and she came to school the following day with a cast. She let me sign it.Mary would probably have remembered most of her students. She knew them well, academically and emotionally.” 

Joyce Mantels, the parent of one of Bullock’s students, said Bullock loved children and was kind and gentle.

“She was always firm, but fair,” Mantels said. “Mary wanted the children to learn more than their ABCs. It was important to her that they learn to be good people and good citizens as well, even at a young age.”

“One would see Mary walking briskly to and from the train, which she took to and from Geneva where she lived. A strong wind might have blown her over, but she continued to take that walk no matter what the weather.”

Esther Bullock described her sister Mary as sensitive.

“She was very aware of each child and what their needs were,” said Esther Bullock. “She had an awful lot of compliments from parents. Letters, gifts — she was so involved. It just meant a lot to her, the children. She was certainly dedicated.”



    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »