Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Dorothy and Cameron Carlyle
Dorothy (Nye) Carlyle ’56 met her husband,
Cameron (“Ron”), during her freshman year at
Willimantic State Teachers College while he was
a student at the University of Connecticut. They
have long recognized the impact that college had
on their lives — and, as Dorothy points out, the
couple believes that “anything we got in the form
of scholarship support was a tremendous help.”
After attending Dorothy’s Jubilee Reunion at
Eastern in 2006, the Carlyles decided to make
the University the beneficiary of a charitable
remainder uni-trust (CRUT). In addition, the
Carlyles also established the Dorothy N. Carlyle
’56 Endowed Scholarship fund for students with
unmet financial need who are working to put
themselves through school. “We needed to give
back, because we lived through that ourselves,”
said Dorothy. “For us, the greatest joy and
reward we get is when we go to the scholarship
award receptions and get to meet ‘our’ students.
That’s why we do this.”
The Carlyles have added to the CRUT and the
schola rship in recent years. “We have always
been impressed with Eastern’s public liberal
arts mission and the vision of Dr. Núñez,” said
Dorothy. “Ron gave this scholarship to Eastern
in my name as a gift to me — and it is the
greatest gift I have ever received.”
Dean Cid Establishes Scholarship with Estate Gift
Professor Carmen Cid, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for the past four years and a member of the Eastern faculty since 1987, continues to be amazed and humbled by the number of people she has met who remind her of the positive and life-altering experiences that they had as undergraduates at Eastern. It is those daily reminders that served as a catalyst for Cid and her husband to make an appointment with their attorney and ultimately decide to make a significant provision for Eastern in their estate plan.
“I can be in the grocery store, the shopping mall or filling up my car at a gas station and inevitably someone will approach me because they know I still work at Eastern and they will tell me how the University changed their lives forever and in essence helped them to reach their full potential,” said Cid. Listening to Thomas Sweeney ’83, who gave the commencement speech in May 2008, talk about how Eastern “taught me to teach myself” was also a factor in her decision, as was the impressive attendance at Professor Michael Gable’s retirement dinner in October. “Many biology graduates talked about how his caring and mentoring made a major difference in their lives,” said Cid.
“My husband and I decided that as we get closer to retirement, it only makes sense to be proactive with our estate plan and not leave anything to chance. We want to make sure that there will be many more powerful testimonials from Eastern graduates for many years to come,” she said.
The Carmen R. Cid Scholarship fund will help with educational expenses of Biology majors with preference given to women and minorities, and to help fund undergraduate student research and artistic student projects.
Cid noted that she is less concerned about establishing a personal legacy and more concerned with helping students reach their academic goals. “By specifying our intentions in our will now, we can have peace of mind that the money truly assists deserving students at Eastern in the future.”
Robert and Lori Polito
An avid cyclist for many years, Robert Polito ’86 couldn’t help but notice that there were a few crazy drivers on the road. This prompted him to contact his lawyer in order to create a living will. “God forbid I get hit and become a vegetable,” he concluded. While meeting with the lawyer, Robert and his wife Lori ’85 were encouraged to put together their estate plan. The couple began to think about what had made the greatest impact on their lives, and Eastern quickly came to mind. They agreed to make the University that shaped their lives a part of their will.
Robert met Lori during his sophomore year and the couple have been together ever since. They often look back on their time at Eastern and the positive effect that it had on them. “Whenever you meet your spouse at an institution you are going to have a soft spot for that place,” Robert explained. He fondly remembers living in Crandall Hall and Low Rise Apartments and the camaraderie between the students and faculty. He also remembers being lucky enough to attend the University on the G.I. Bill and a Pell Grant. “This allowed me to go to college, get a good job, and pay taxes, essentially paying back my loans.” Robert is a vice president with Webster Bank and is pleased that his college education allows him to give back and be a productive member of society. As for Lori, Robert says that “Eastern prepared her well.” She teaches second grade in Old Saybrook, and has combined her education with a natural gift for teaching to become a highly respected educator.
Robert will always be intertwined with Eastern, not only through the memories that he and his wife share but through many family members. He has two cousins and an aunt who graduated from Eastern’s teacher education program, and his uncle, Ralph Yulo, is an emeriti professor. With such strong connections to Eastern, and knowing how lucky they are to have attended college, Robert and Lori are excited to be giving back. “Eastern is a special place for my wife and I.” By including Eastern in their estate plan, Robert envisions that they will be helping future Eastern graduates for generations to come.