Helping Others Achieve Their Goals


Billie was born in Minneapolis. When she was in third grade, her family moved to California. "I couldn't read very well, and school was very difficult for me," says Billie. "Even way back then, I had a dyslexic issue, but it wasn't something that was diagnosed in those days."

Despite the odds, Billie studied diligently and made it through high school. When it came time for college, Billie decided she wanted to go to school away from home. "I loved to ski, and I had a beloved godmother who lived in Fort Collins. Her husband was a faculty member in the chemistry department at Colorado State University so, without visiting the campus or really knowing anything about CSU, I took off and went to Fort Collins," says Billie.

Billie originally majored in home economics, but decided to switch to English in her junior year because of her love for literature and creative writing. School was still a struggle for Billie in college. She failed German and chemistry, and consequently had to carry 21 hours one quarter to make up the classes. She took 18 hours most quarters and, even without the help of tutorial support, she was able to graduate on time. She received her Bachelor of Art in English, as well as her teacher certification, in 1962.

It was while teaching English at Oak Park-River Forest High School in the Chicago suburbs that Billie met her husband, Dean, who was serving as one of the deans. They were married in 1980, and a year later they moved to New Mexico and set up Acacia Counseling.

"I think I was born to counsel," says Billie. "It was a gift I was given, and having some problems myself growing up, struggling and running with a different type of crowd, I could use my experiences to benefit other people. If I can take a negative experience that I went through and turn it into a positive experience, not only for myself but for somebody else, that's what I'm all about."

When Billie's niece, Tambralyn Parsons, who also has learning disabilities, shared with her the struggles she had while earning her degree at CSU, it solidified Billie's and Dean's wishes for their planned gift. The Billie and Dean Crouse Acacia Scholarship fund provides financial support and tutorial support for struggling students.

"CSU was very helpful in setting up our trust so that our dollars do the most for the most students. If a student can get help so that they can do what they want to do more easily, more efficiently, and with fewer constraints, then that's what Dean and I want to provide. The nice thing about a planned gift is not only leaving a legacy but knowing that the work you put into your own life will go on to help others achieve their goals."

For more information on leaving your legacy with Colorado State University, please contact us