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Establishing a Legacy Through Scholarships

Establishing a Legacy Through Scholarships
John and Jane Woodrow are long-time residents of Athens who see Ohio University as an integral part of a vibrant community. John grew up in Athens, went to Ohio University for two semesters, and met Jane on a blind date while she was in graduate school in psychology. Since that time, they have lived in Athens for the better part of fifty years.

The Woodrows are community-minded and believe that altruism is as beneficial for the giver as for the receiver. They especially like to support charitable organizations that encourage personal growth, that educate people, and that are sustainable. They have supported many local nonprofits including Rural Action, Planned Parenthood, and the Athens Foundation. Since Ohio University also exemplifies their values and they have a personal connection to it, they were inspired to give back to the University. They have no children, so a gift to the University represents an opportunity to establish a meaningful legacy.

The Woodrows decided to endow two scholarships, one each in psychology and music. Psychology was an easy choice for Jane, a practicing psychologist with a graduate degree from Ohio University. She knows from experience that there is not much in the way of scholarship money for graduate students studying psychology. Music is also a logical choice for both John and Jane. For many years the couple has sung in the choir at the First Presbyterian Church, which was directed by Ira Zook, a professor of music, who is the namesake of the couple's music scholarship. They chose to name the scholarship after the late Dr. Zook because, as the founder of the Singing Men of Ohio and a respected community member, they thought his name might inspire other community members to contribute to the named scholarship as well. The couple envisions that the scholarships will support students in their careers and hope that they help the University draw talented students.

The Woodrows' gift vehicle of choice is a charitable gift annuity. While the stock market currently is volatile and bank CDs and money market interest rates are low, a gift annuity can receive a relatively high interest rate. Since the couple does not need the income now, they can donate the annual interest payment toward the scholarships; if they do need the funds in the future, the money will be available. A gift annuity gives the Woodrows the opportunity to grow the scholarships while they are living, and thereafter, the sum defaults to the University. They see the transaction as a positive for themselves and the University.

If, like the Woodrows, you are interested in supporting a cause of personal interest to you at Ohio University, or if you have questions about how a charitable gift annuity could benefit you and your loved ones, please contact Kelli Bell, Executive Director of Development for Gift Planning, at (740) 597-1819 or bellk@ohio.edu.