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Planned Gifts Create Legacy of Support

Forward-thinking donors seek to sustain Northwestern in the future through their estate plans.

music library
Planned gifts made by late Professor Emeritus Laurence Davis helped fund Northwestern’s Music Library, pictured, and the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music.

Summer 2019

Many donors wish to make an impact on Northwestern not just during their lifetimes but after they have passed, leaving a lasting legacy of support for the University and helping to transform the lives of future generations of students. An impressive number of benefactors have chosen to make this generous commitment: As of May 31, planned gifts made during We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern totaled $631 million, or 14% of Campaign giving.

The Henry and Emma Rogers Society recognizes alumni and friends who have included Northwestern in their estate plans — for example, naming Northwestern as a beneficiary in a will or living trust. (See “A History of Generosity.”)

Rogers Society members Sharon Bowen ’82 JD, MBA and her husband, Larry Morse, made a planned gift commitment to Northwestern that will support a first-of-its-kind scholarship at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law. The African American History and Culture Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to outstanding students who demonstrate interest in, or commitment to, African American history and culture.

“I was the beneficiary of a full scholarship that enabled me to earn my JD-MBA degrees at Northwestern,” says Bowen, who was an active member of the Black Law Students Association during her time on campus. “This opened the door to opportunities for me to have a meaningful career. It is my hope that this gesture of my appreciation will also open the door for future law students.”

Like Bowen, Teresa Norton ’67 decided to give thanks to Northwestern through planned gifts that will aid students in her field of study. Specifically, she has chosen to support the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and its master’s program in reporting on religion, spirituality and ethics.

“I wanted to show my gratitude for the superior education I received,” Norton says of her decision to make the gift. “I can honestly say that every class at Medill had a bearing on the rest of my life.”

Trustee T. Bondurant “Bon” French ’75, ’76 MBA and his wife, Hollis “Holly” S. French, have not forgotten the important role Northwestern has played in their family’s life — Bon French’s parents and brother both graduated from Northwestern, and the Frenches’ daughter is an alumna. As longtime supporters of the University they love, they made a transformational bequest commitment that will support the Kellogg School of Management as well as Northwestern. (See “Dedicated Donors.”)

“We care deeply for Northwestern and Kellogg and are proud to give back to the university that has meant so much to our family over the last seven decades,” says Bon French, co-chair of We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern. “Our bequest will help ensure that Northwestern continues to thrive for years to come.”

Longtime faculty members often choose to leave their mark on the University through planned gifts too. The late Laurence Davis was a pianist and professor at the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music for 34 years. His influence now extends beyond his lifetime through the numerous gifts he generously designated for Northwestern’s Music Library and the Bienen School. A portion of Davis’ planned gifts created the Laurence Davis Scholarship Fund, an endowment that will benefit students in perpetuity.

Learn more about planned gifts.

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