Donor Spotlights

Sharon Merriman, J.D., '75

Of counsel, Voyles Zahn & Paul

Sharon Merriman, J.D., '75

I have no doubt that my gift will help other people in ways that I feel are important. It’s a win-win for me and the students. I can’t think of a single downside.

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Sharon Merriman knows moms make great attorneys.  Yet the road to becoming an attorney—law school—means buying books, paying for a sitter, covering tuition, and juggling the many unexpected expenses that can drain the bank account of a student who is also caring for children.   She knows because she was once such a student.  That’s why she created the Merriman Family Scholarship, which helps IU McKinney Law students, specifically mothers, through law school.

Merriman enrolled in law school in 1972.  At that time, she was one of just a handful of women attending.  “We hung together,” she says of her female classmates.  “We had study groups together.”

These days, Sharon sees that there are more women students.  And she knows that those who are mothers are often juggling school and children by themselves.  “They are the ones who need a little bit of extra help,” she says.  “That’s why I think this scholarship is important.”

She funded her scholarship via a $100,000 charitable gift annuity that gives her income for life, a tax break, and creates the opportunity she wants for students.  “I have no doubt that my gift will help other people in ways that I feel are important,” she says. “It’s a win-win for me and the students.  I can’t think of a single downside.”