August 14, 2020

Bosdell’s Gift Will Impact Many Generations

During her 88 years on earth, Dr. Betty J. Bosdell ’49 showcased the gift of being able to foster positivity and encourage everyone around her to strive for greatness in their lives.  


Bosdell, who passed away in 2017, lived a life of selflessness, generosity and loyalty to her loved ones. These were traits prompted by her father’s words during the Great Depression: “There is always enough.” 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from UM (then Alabama College), Bosdell earned her master’s and doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana. From there, she taught at Chico State College in California, the University of North Dakota, the University of Iowa and Northern Illinois University, where she earned the title of professor emeritus upon her retirement in 1984. A licensed therapist for several decades, her major areas of teaching included theories of psychotherapy, group therapy, child therapy, transpersonal psychology, psychological assessment and biofeedback. After her retirement from NIU, Bosdell moved west to Vista, California, where she lived through her final days. She remained a member of the Association for the Advancement of Psychosynthesis and helped organize psychosynthesis groups across the country. 

Bosdell also served as a consultant for many schools and educational groups, including universities, public school systems and state departments of education across the country and for the U.S. Department of Education.  

No matter where life took her, Bosdell was focused on serving people first and providing a caring, understanding ear to anyone who needed it.  

In her autobiography, Bosdell credited Montevallo with laying the foundation for her lifelong passion of serving others 

“During (my time at Montevallo), my interest in being with and working with people continued to develop,” she wrote. “A sequence of life experiences has led me from one position to another, each leaving me a richer person in some dimension. Throughout my adult life, I have been surrounded by people who were genuine and I always have been near to some who really care for others.” Bosdell is survived by several nieces and nephews.  

Throughout her life, Bosdell was committed to helping the University continue to make a difference for future generations of students. She included UM in her estate planning, leading to the second-largest estate gift the University has ever received at nearly $1.3 million.  

The sizeable gift was designated to the following areas: 

  • The Dr. Betty J. Bosdell Biofeedback Services Room housed in the Grainger Family Center for Personal Development 
  • The Dr. Betty J. Bosdell Student Counseling Services Program Fund 
  • The Dr. Betty J. Bosdell Research Lab in Harman Hall 
  • The Dr. Betty J. Bosdell Endowed Emergency Fund for Female Students in Need 
  • Dr. Betty J. Bosdell endowed namesake scholarships in the following areas: 
  • full time students who are also single parents 
  • deserving students in the graduate counseling services degree program 
  • students majoring in psychology and/or sociology 
  • students majoring in any undergraduate or graduate education degree programs 
  • Greatest need within the general unrestricted foundation endowment 


Including UM in an estate plan provides many benefits to both the donor and the University. Planned gifts are vitally important to the University because they help secure long-term financial stability, allow the University to plan based on knowledge of future income and allow Montevallo to continue its mission well into the future.  

Planned giving provides donors an opportunity to inventory their assets and liabilities and identify the goals and priorities of the legacy they want to leave. Making a planned gift also allows donors to minimize their estate tax, increase income from assets and maximize assets left to heirs.  

There are several types of planned gifts, and each offers unique advantages. For more information on ways to support the University through a planned gift, please call Scott Dillard or Kelli J. Holmes at 205-665-6212. 

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