Life-changing KU Experience Inspires Giving

It was a blistering August day when newlyweds Bill and Nina Redlin arrived in Lawrence from Ohio 48 years ago. They got a modest apartment in Stouffer Place for married students on campus, and their first purchase was a window air conditioner. 

They had moved to Kansas so Bill could pursue a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at KU. He became news director at KANU on campus, a job that later opened doors for him. “We got superior educations at KU that changed the course of our lives,” said Bill. 

Through several twists and turns, Bill landed a job hosting the Morning Edition program at one of the most prominent public radio stations in the country, WAMU, in Washington, D.C. He was there during the 9/11 attack, where he recalls narrating the day’s events from what he could see on TV. For 24 years, he woke up at 2:30 a.m. for the morning newscast. He then moved to midday host.

“For many years, I worked early mornings and Nina late evenings, so we passed each other in the hallway at home. I think it extended our marriage,” said Bill in jest.

Nina and Bill met on a blind date at the University of Dayton, where they both completed their undergraduate degrees. A stint as a secretary at the KU pharmacology department inspired Nina to pursue a degree in pharmacy at the university, a career she held for 35 years. 

The 1950s Stouffer Place apartments were razed three years ago and replaced by modern ones in the new Central District this year. However, the Redlins have vivid memories of living in the original ones. Lawrence will always be their home, since it’s where both of their children were born and where they made lifelong friends. 

Now retired and living in Virginia, the Redlins come back to Lawrence periodically, as Bill serves on the William Allen White Foundation board of trustees. “We love walking on Jayhawk Boulevard, it brings up so many memories and it’s so beautiful,” said Nina.

They have been donors to KU for many years, but recently they decided to establish endowed funds to support students in journalism and pharmacy. They are funding them through IRA Charitable Rollovers, which enables them to roll money directly from their IRAs since they’re over 70. “For us, it’s a win-win. We are able to make a larger contribution to KU and it decreases our taxable income,” said Bill.

ROSITA ELIZALDE-McCOY

JAYHAWKS FOR LIFE: Bill and Nina Redlin honored their deep connection to the university by creating endowed funds to support students through their IRAs, a giving option that they feel could be used by more people.