A Legacy of Learning

Carol “Bobbie” Jasmer learned to appreciate education and philanthropy at the knee of her grandmother, Francesca Esacamilla.

Esacamilla sparked Jasmer’s intellectual curiosity and her generosity. As a young woman Esacamilla had moved from Mexico to San Antonio, Texas with her husband and started a successful bakery.

“My abuelita was such an inspiration,” Jasmer says using the Spanish word for grandmother. “She was a grand and generous lady. She donated day old bread from her bakery and gave it to the convent, orphanages and schools. She was so tiny – 4 feet 11 inches – that she had to sit on pillows when she drove, so she could see out the car window.”

To honor her, Jasmer has made a planned gift to establish the Las Hermanas Mexicanas Scholarship fund for women students at UMKC, with a preference for students with an interest in Mexican history or culture. Jasmer wants her grandmother to be remembered and the scholarship will be a powerful tribute.

“She was very brave and gutsy,” Jasmer says of her mother’s mother. “She had eight children, two of whom died, and thirty grandchildren. Her family was her life.”

Jasmer remembers “Tita” – as her grandchildren called her – as brave and compassionate, with an ability to see people beyond the surface. She encouraged her grandchildren to surround themselves with people who knew where they were going.

Jasmer found a community of people at UMKC who fit her grandmother’s requirements, and she is grateful for the university’s influence.

“The faculty at the university were the most beautiful and gracious souls,” Jasmer says. “They demanded the best of me and expanded my mind.”

Jasmer wanted to honor her experience at UMKC and further the opportunity for education through a scholarship for women students.

Shelly Doucet, UMKC Foundation senior director of development, recognizes the significance of Jasmer’s gift, both as a legacy and as an opportunity for future students.

“We’re honored that Bobbie would entrust us with her gift in honor of her experience at UMKC and her grandmother’s memory,” Doucet says. “We’re certain the future scholarship recipients will be grateful for her foresight and thoughtful planning.”

Jasmer sees this as a continuation of her grandmother’s legacy.

“I believe you receive when you give,” she says. “I want to help cultivate a pearl out of grain of sand.”