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Scholarship honors couple’s dedication to KU and to their community

Dr. Lillian Gonzalez-Pardo and Dr. Manuel Pardo

The family of Phil and Helen Everley wanted to recognize the couple’s love of education and service to their community of Eudora, Kan. With a $50,000 gift, family members endowed a scholarship in Phil and Helen’s name at the University of Kansas that recognizes academic achievement and community service.

Phil was one of the first Eagle Scouts in Eudora, graduating from Eudora High School in 1958 and KU in 1963. Helen graduated from Winchester (Kan.) High School (now Jefferson County North High School) in 1967. 

After Phil returned to Lawrence following military service in Germany and Vietnam, in 1969 he met Helen, who was a KU student at the time. They were married at KU’s Danforth Chapel in November of that year.

They moved to Eudora in the early 1970s and operated a family-owned business in Lawrence until selling the company in 1990.

Phil and Helen Everley were married on Nov. 29, 1969, at KU's Danforth Chapel.
Danforth Chapel, University of Kansas

They then bought and managed rental properties in Eudora throughout the 1990s and 2000s. Helen also was active in Eudora community service and church activities, volunteering with fundraising efforts for the Boy Scouts for more than 15 years. She often devoted her time planting flowers to decorate the main public areas in town.

Throughout their lives, Phil and Helen were huge supporters of KU basketball and were season ticket holders for many years. Not surprisingly, all three of their sons — Mark, Patrick and Steven — went on to graduate from KU. Their oldest son, Mark, also graduated from the KU School of Medicine. And all of Phil and Helen’s grandchildren can regularly be spotted wearing KU attire.

Phil and Helen were married for over 46 years until Phil passed away in 2016. Helen passed away in 2018.

“Some of our best memories growing up involved attending KU basketball games and other university-related events with our parents in nearby Lawrence,” recalls Patrick, who currently resides in San Francisco. “They dedicated a lot of time and energy to the community while also stressing the importance of our academics. We wanted to create a scholarship at KU in their memory that encouraged academic achievement as well as activities they loved. On a personal level, it keeps our family connected to the city of Eudora and the larger KU community, which we know Mom and Dad would have wanted.”

The purpose of the fund is to provide scholarships for students who are graduates of Eudora High School attending KU who have a history of participation in service events, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or other community service projects. If no Eudora High School students qualify in a given year, then eligibility opens up to students who graduated from high schools throughout the state of Kansas. Anyone who would like to contribute to the scholarship fund can do so through KU Endowment at Specify the name of the fund in the “My gift will benefit:” box.

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