Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
- Andrew C. Long
- Richard Janes '69
- Howard E. DeMott
- Richard Janes '69
- Victor Boris '77
- Lynn Hassinger Askew '57
- Bill '48 and Joyce '45 McClure
- Jesse H. Stone '51
- Dorothy Turner '36
- Peter '57 and Ruth '58 Nunn
- Dorla B. Nary
ONE PERSON TOUCHES MANY LIVES
Susquehanna University is celebrating its largest gift ever from an alumnus. The late Andrew C. Long, a school teacher and business owner from the Class of 1928, provided lifetime and testamentary gifts totaling $4.8 million to the university. These extraordinary gifts will be used to support scholarships and experiential learning opportunities for students.
A longtime supporter of Susquehanna University from Coal Township, Pa., Long initially established the Andrew C. Long Scholarship Fund in 1994 to support promising business students from the Pennsylvania region encompassing Shamokin, Coal Township, Ranshaw, Paxinos and Shamokin Township. A new scholarship, endowed at $1 million, broadens that support to any deserving business student.
"The Long Scholarship has allowed me to attend college and grow as an individual and leader," says current scholarship recipient Amanda Cavanaugh, a senior business administration major from Shamokin, Pa. "I have pursued my love of horses by competing and serving as captain of the Susquehanna equestrian team and have been touched by so many people through my sorority, Sigma Kappa, and this campus as a whole."
Even more lives will be touched by the Andrew C. Long '28 Endowment for Experiential Learning, supported by a $3 million gift from the Long estate. The endowment will support internships, collaborative research projects between students and faculty, senior capstone projects and cross-cultural experiences undertaken by students.
The bulk of Long's gifts were made by his estate, which established a trust when he passed away in 1996. He provided for several close friends as well as other local charities during the trust's lifetime. The trust was well-managed by Susquehanna Bank (and its predecessors) for 15 years before it was set to dissolve at the end of 2011.
BELOVED EMERITUS PROFESSORS HONORED WITH SCHOLARSHIPS
Sally DeMott, daughter of emeritus professor Howard E. DeMott, and Marty Blessing '70, widow of emeritus professor James A. Blessing '63, know that both men had a profound impact on the lives of students and the institution at large. That is why they chose to establish scholarships in memory of these remarkable professors.
Howard DeMott's 33-year career at Susquehanna began in 1948. His passion was teaching biology and mentoring students. Many former students remember him as one of their best teachers at SU. He in turn was proud of his students' achievements and helped many get into professional schools to begin their post-graduate education. In addition to serving as head of the biology department, Howard was chairman of the university's division of natural sciences and mathematics for many years. In 1978, he received the Lindback Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching at Susquehanna University, now called the Susquehanna University Teaching Award.
Howard's memory lives on today through The DeMott Scholarship Endowment that Sally created to honor her father and mother, Janet A. DeMott, who was a musician, teacher and patron of the arts. Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need and who are studying biology.
Jim Blessing was among a rare faculty cohort privileged to serve the institution where he himself matriculated in 1959. Jim's academic interests centered on political philosophy and comparative government. He was demanding but fair, an excellent teacher who was dedicated to his students. His door was always open, and he was an excellent mentor to new faculty. Jim served as chair of the political science department, as well as on numerous faculty committees. He received the Lindback Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1976.
ESTABLISHING A LEGACY WAS "EASY"
Richard Janes '69 recently established a charitable gift annuity for the benefit of Susquehanna University and ultimately The Richard Janes '69 Scholarship Endowment, which helps students in financial need. He explains what motivated him to take this important step:
I first heard of the charitable gift annuity in discussion with Jim Brown [Class of 1969] at Spring Fling 2009. He explained that he was considering a gift in the range of $100,000 and that he would receive a yearly income for life from the annuity and the remainder would go to the university at his death. I knew I would have money in my 401(k) to consider when I retired. My options were to leave the money in the fund, withdraw the money and fund a Roth IRA or to purchase a [commercial] annuity through the 401(k) fund. When it became time for me to retire in the summer of 2010, I remembered the conversation with my friend. I realized that I had additional options to consider.
I spoke with Devin Rhoads, assistant director of the Susquehanna University Fund, about giving options and possibly establishing a scholarship. He put me in touch with Kimberly Andretta, assistant director of gift planning. I discovered that to establish a scholarship requires a minimum of $50,000. When making up my mind, I considered my retirement income, savings and possible future needs. I also came to the conclusion that my heirs didn't need any money. What did I want to leave for my legacy?
My decision to give Susquehanna the bulk of my 401(k) to establish a scholarship was easy. Susquehanna gave me a quality education, lifetime friends and wonderful memories. I decided to give an immediate scholarship and put the remainder in a gift annuity. This way I, the university, students today and students in the future will all benefit. Richard chose to fund a scholarship because the cost of education may be prohibitive for some people and he wanted to ensure that students had the same opportunity that he did when he studied at Susquehanna. He knows, too, that debt after graduation may be a burden for Susquehanna alumni.
Richard is also changing his estate plans so Susquehanna University will be the primary beneficiary. He explains, "My memories and feelings of the university are strong and I met my best friends there. I think about what my legacy is going to be. You could leave it to your family but they may not need it. Or you can give something that will give back to people. I picked Susquehanna because 'why not?' Why isn't SU just as deserving as other charities? It's like giving back to your family but it's your Susquehanna family that you're helping. I hope students who benefit from these scholarships, if they're in the position to, will give back to Susquehanna when the time is right."
Richard adds that he is grateful to be able to establish a lasting impact at Susquehanna without having a substantial income. "I could do this because I saved that money in my 401(k) and knew my return from the CGA would be better than most other commercial options."
Victor Boris '77: Achieve, Lead, Serve
Victor Boris '77 embodies Susquehanna University's maxim of achieve, lead and serve.
Vic always had a passion for everything music. Hailing from Shamokin, his musical interests started at home and grew as a Navy musician graduating from the Navy School of Music. After leaving the Navy, he quickly found a new home at Susquehanna where he could expand his musical horizons. Galen Deibler, emeritus professor of music at Susquehanna, receives credit for being Vic's muse, and Vic often refers to Galen as his "great inspiration." As a part of the SU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor of Music Victor Rislow, and the University Choir, directed by Emeritus Professor Cyril Stretansky, his musical abilities were fostered.
Since graduating in 1977 with a bachelor of arts in music education, Vic has honed his abilities and is now a professional entertainer for nearly five decades. He performs solo or as part of the Vic Boris Trio and serves the communities in and around Northumberland County, Pa., by volunteering to play the piano and sing at local nursing homes in the Shamokin area, directing high school plays and musicals, teaching piano lessons, helping with the community theatre and lending a hand wherever it is needed. He was also instrumental in organizing the Northumberland County Career and Arts Center Theatre.
To round out Vic's leadership roles, he is also an adjunct professor in Susquehanna's music and communications departments. He teaches popular classes like Introduction to Film, Rock Music and Society, and piano classes. He finds this as one of the most rewarding parts of his career. Vic has a profound connection to Susquehanna and wanted to give back to the university. He established the Victor Boris '77 Music Scholarship Endowment which will give preference to a music student who is in need of financial aid. To fund the endowment now, Vic transferred assets that would have capital gains taxes. To ensure that the endowment will grow well into the future, he made Susquehanna the beneficiary of his retirement plans. To learn more about how to make Susquehanna the beneficiary of your retirement plans, please contact the Office of Gift Planning.
Lynn Hassinger Askew '57: A Model of Volunteerism and Generosity
Susquehanna University regained a tremendous asset when Lynn Hassinger Askew '57 moved back to the Selinsgrove area in 2004. Since then, she has turned into a role model for all Crusaders by supporting Susquehanna in several key ways. In fact, the university has recognized Lynn's volunteer efforts by establishing the Lynn H. Askew Award for Outstanding Student Volunteer of the Year.
As a member of the Alumni Parent Admissions Network (APAN), Lynn helps recruit students to the school she loves by attending college fairs and interacting directly with prospective students. As a member of the Alumni Board, Lynn helps shape policy and programming that keep fellow alumni informed and engaged. As a class reporter she is a vital conduit between SU and her classmates. While on the Alumni Board, she also served as the alumni representative on the university's Board of Trustees from 1992-97. Volunteering for Susquehanna University is second nature to Lynn: "I never thought about not doing it."
Lynn also lends a hand in the community. The Snyder County Library Board recently welcomed her as a new member. Lynn, a retired guidance counselor from Piscataway High School, in New Jersey, used her listening and coping techniques to help the American Red Cross during the January 1995 floods in Sacramento, Hurricane Floyd and several New Jersey disasters. After the World Trade Center tragedy, she was active in both Red Cross and Lutheran Disaster Response. As a volunteer with Lutheran Disaster Response, Lynn served as a consultant in a Lutheran parochial school following Hurricane Andrew. After Hurricane Marilyn, she coordinated the efforts of LDR volunteers who worked to rehabilitate houses on St. Thomas. She also prepared for the arrival of volunteers in Puerto Rico for Hurricane Andrew.
Beyond her role as an effective volunteer, Lynn is also setting an example through her giving. She is using several philanthropic methods to have a lasting impact at Susquehanna. She is one of the first alumni to take advantage of the IRA charitable distribution, made possible by the Pension Protection Act of 2206. "Of course I was going to take advantage of it" Lynn said, referring to the act's provision that permits individuals aged 70 1/2 and older to exclude Roth or traditional IRA distributions from taxable income as long as it is distributed directly to any charitable organization, like Susquehanna University.
Lynn is also a member of the Heritage Club, which recognizes donors who make an arrangement to provide for Susquehanna University through their estate planning. By making Susquehanna the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, she is able to take the premium payments as a tax deduction.
"An insurance policy is just another way of giving back to Susquehanna," she said.
Lynn has also set up a scholarship in memory of her husband, Gilbert C. Askew '61, ensuring that his legacy will endure through the lives of SU students far into the future. We are grateful to Lynn and to others like her whose time, talent, and treasure are sustaining the character of this very special university.
Bill '48 and Joyce '45 McClure: Scholarship, Planned Gifts, and Volunteerism
Bill and Joyce McClure of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, have established the William H. '48 and Joyce J. '45 McClure Scholarship by utilizing planned gifts. The scholarship will benefit deserving, needy students of Susquehanna University who are majoring in either business or music.
To form the scholarship, the McClures made a significant gift commitment toward a charitable gift annuity (CGA). The CGA, which is a simple agreement between the donor and Susquehanna University, will provide income to Bill and Joyce for the remainder of their lifetimes. In return for their generous contribution, the McClures also receive a current tax deduction which can be spread out over five years, if necessary.
Bill and Joyce have fond memories of their years at SU. Bill, who retired as vice president with Kinney Shoe Corporation, was a business major. Joyce was a liberal arts major and then a homemaker raising three children, William, Christine and Daniel.
The McClures have been active supporters of Susquehanna University through the annual fund and now have discovered the benefits of making planned gifts. They enjoy visiting with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, tending garden, golfing and splitting time between homes in Carlisle, Pa., and Sun City Center, Fl. They volunteer at the Cumberland County Food Bank (Project Share) and at their church. Joyce is an active volunteer at the Cumberland County Historical Society and the Carlisle Regional Medical Center.
"We loved our time at Susquehanna," say the McClures. "It gives us a good feeling to give back to the school in ways that will help young people achieve their college dreams."
Jesse H. Stone '51: Gift Annuities Achieve His Giving Goals
As a member of the Susquehanna University football squad and basketball team 1948-50, Jesse H. Stone '51 learned firsthand the value of athletics in helping to shape students into well-rounded individuals. His love of both Susquehanna University and athletics is what let him to establish the Jesse Stone '51 Endowment Fund for Athletics 10 years ago. "I received a great education at SU," Jesse says, "and I want to help ensure that others receive the same opportunity I had."
Jesse worked with development staff to establish several charitable gift annuities which achieve three important goals for Jesse: they guarantee him a lifetime income backed by the full credit of Susquehanna University, they provide tax benefits and down the road, his endowment fund will generate yearly income for university programs. Since Jesse funded the annuities by transferring appreciated to Susquehanna University, he also realized the dual benefit of spreading the capitol-gain tax on the appreciated value of the stock out over his lifetime and avoiding estate tax on the gifted securities.
Jesse, a 77-year-old widower with three grown daughters, does not limit his philanthropy to financial gifts; he also gives of himself. For the last nine years, he has been a senior mentor at Hillside Elementary School near his home in Cumberland, Pa. Twice a week Jesse reads to a class of six-, seven- and eight-year-olds and helps with other classroom activities. He thoroughly enjoys working with the children and they love him too. What a great legacy to leave to SU and his community!
Dorothy Turner '36: The Ultimate Teacher
Dorothy loved the years she spent studying music at Susquehanna: "The thing that made it so special was our relationships with our professors and with the other students," she said. "There were only about 15 of us in my music class. I still keep up with some of them!"
Her gratitude for the education she received at Susquehanna is what led her to establish the Dorothy Turner '36 Music Scholarship Fund. "I want to help others to receive the benefits of a Susquehanna education," she said.
"The education I received at Susquehanna made it possible for me to have a wonderful life," Dorothy said. "Because of my education, I was able to give my parents a good life after my father was injured. I was able to become the organist for my church and I was able to become a teacher."
Dorothy says she enjoyed "every minute" of her 37-year teaching career at Kingston High School and Wyoming Valley West High School in Kingston, Pa. "I got so much satisfaction from it," she said, "because so many of my students went on to have such successful careers."
At 92, she still returns to the campus regularly for arts events and other activities. She is active with her church and drives regularly for her church's Meals on Wheels program. She also coordinates three trips a year to the New York City Opera for her Mozart Club.
Dorothy had used several planned giving tools to achieve her philanthropic goals. She has provided generously for Susquehanna in her will, and she has also established several charitable gift annuities. When her scholarship fund is fully endowed, it will generate enough income to help several students each year. Because of her generosity and forethought, Dorothy has guaranteed there will always be students who benefit from her wisdom and kindness.
Peter '57 and Ruth '58 Nunn: Giving Back to Susquehanna
They met at Susquehanna, where Pete was a Phi Mu Delta brother and an accounting major and Ruth was an Alpha Delta Pi sister and a chemistry major. The Nunns have been happily married for 49 years, and throughout that time they have remained connected to SU, both as volunteers and as donors.
"We have received so much from Susquehanna," Pete says. "Not only did we get a good education, but we also enjoyed great times there, found good job opportunities, made lifelong friendships, and established a great association with an outstanding institution. That's why we want to give back."
Pete and Ruth have established The Peter M. and Ruth S. Nunn Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) which names SU as remainder beneficiary. As Pete explains, "We chose a CRUT because it offers several advantages that meet our needs: 1) we can contribute each year over a lond period of time; 2) the CRUT allows us to convert assets into a lifelong income stream; 3) we get a current tax deduction when we transfer assets into the CRUT and 4) placing assets in the CRUT removes them from our estates, and that will reduce our estate taxes.
According to Pete, the CRUT is a win-win solution because it suits their estate planning needs and down the road will benefit SU as well. "When we established our CRUT we specified that the remaining value of the trust is to become part of the SU's Permanent unrestricted endowment," Pete said. "We think this is the best way to ensure that SU will be able to provide a high-quality education for its students for generations to come."
Pete and Ruth have two sons, Steven '81 who holds an MBA from Vanderbilt, and David a 1984 Duke graduate with a Ph.D in chemistry from Stanford. They also have two grandchildren, Brad and Tyler.
Dorla B. Nary: Honoring the Career of Dr. Bruce L. Nary
Bruce Nary joined the staff of Susquehanna in 1960 to teach speech and theatre, and for the next 31 years, devoted himself to his students and to advancing recognition of the arts at Susquehanna. Bruce's door was always open to his colleagues and his students, who fondly remember his dry wit and personal warmth.
"Bruce loved teaching and directing and he loved his students," his wife Dorla said. "He never cared for administration. He just wanted to teach."
Bruce's students returned his devotion. When he died in 2000, a group of his students pooled their own money to create a beautiful plaque to express their affection to him and their gratitude for what he had taught them.
To honor Bruce's contributions to theatre at Susquehanna, Dorla has created to funds to benefit the theatre department. The first is the Dr. Bruce L. Nary theatre scholarship, which will provide scholarships for the theatre students with talent. "Bruce always wanted to be able to offer scholarships to students with talent," Dorla recalled. "I believe he would be pleased to know that is exactly what we have set up in his honor."
The second fund is the Dr. Bruce L. Nary Visiting Theatre Artist Fund, designed to bring recognized theatre professionals to campus for on-day workshops or special presentations. Dorla is currently funding this program with annual gifts, but she has arranged for this fund to be endowed at her passing with a gift from her charitable remainder trust.
Dorla, who has remained close to members of the theater faculty over the years, said "Bruce devoted his life to the speech and theater programs at Susquehanna. I think of these funds as a continuation of his life's work."