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Bipolar disorder research and students get a lift from a 'gracious' person's estate gifts

Dick Huston, D.V.M., and his wife, Glenda, were so passionate about education that, years ago, they established scholarships at nine different colleges, including the University of Minnesota. After Glenda died suddenly during a trip to Cairo in 2010, her careful estate planning resulted in not just a substantial increase for the Glenda Taylor Huston Scholarship of Courage at the U but also funds to support bipolar disorder research at the institution.

Mental health was a cause near and dear to Glenda’s heart, explains Dick Huston. “Glenda had a son with bipolar disease,” he says, “so we experienced firsthand just how devastating that disease can be. Supporting this department … at the U was very important to her.”

The Glenda Taylor Huston Fund for Bipolar Disorder Research will enable University doctors to launch a new clinic for people who have bipolar disorder, where they’ll focus on treating those who have experienced a first episode of mania. The hope is that early intervention will make a notable difference in the lives of people suffering from the disease.

“Glenda suffered from significant medical problems during her life,” says Huston, who continues to support both Glenda Taylor Huston funds, “but she was the most incredible person you could ever meet—so gracious, so brave. I was fortunate to have her in my life as long as I did.”

Grateful for the opportunities he has had to meet student scholarship recipients and the University doctors involved in getting the new bipolar clinic up and running, Huston is confident that the funding his late wife had set aside will truly make a difference.

“The students I meet at the U never fail to amaze me—how hard they work, how creatively they think,” he says. “It encourages me that we have kids like that coming up. And the new bipolar clinic … well, Glenda would have been so happy to see that come to life.”

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