July 31, 2008

UA Welcomes Record Number of Denny Society Members

Whether it’s alumni who appreciate the quality education they received or devoted friends who recognize the value of what the University offers to students and the greater community, many donors want to support scholarships and other important programs that provide opportunities for others to receive a college education. That support comes in all shapes and sizes. Many choose to make immediate gifts of cash or other property, while others choose to make their ultimate gift through their will or other estate plan.

The University recently hosted its biennial gathering of the Denny Society, which is reserved exclusively for individuals who have taken the thoughtful step of including the University in their estate plans. To date, more than 650 individuals have chosen to be a part of the program, including Marshall and Susan Ginsburg of Reston, Virginia, Evelyn Shriner of Montgomery, Alabama, and Billy and Barbara Hatmaker of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who all attended the recent Denny Society event.

“I always felt I wanted to give back because UA gave me a great education,” Marshall Ginsburg said. “You don’t have to be wealthy to give back to your alma mater. There are a variety of opportunities to make a gift that can provide a student the chance to attend college.”

The Ginsburgs are creating scholarships through life insurance beneficiary designations that will enable out-of-state students in the School of Nursing and the College of Communication and Information Sciences to attend the Capstone. They said their decision to create two scholarships was easy. Marshall wanted to give back to h¬¬is college, and Susan wanted to support her profession of nursing through UA since her own alma mater’s school of nursing closed.

Evelyn Shriner’s long-range plans will add funding to an existing scholarship she and her late husband created years ago. “Although I never finished my degree at the University, helping other students was always very important to Vernon and me. It brings me joy to hear about the students every year, and I feel confident my estate plans will continue what we started together.”

Billy and Barbara Hatmaker haven’t yet decided exactly how their future gifts should be used on campus, but they’ve let the University know it’s included in their estate plans. The couple fondly remembers meeting daily at the balcony in Bibb-Graves Hall and said that the University was a significant part of their lives and their children’s lives.

“We knew we owed something to the University because it played a great part in our blessings,” Hatmaker said. “When I approached my wife and sons about making a gift, there was no hesitation. We decided we didn’t need to worry about the specifics just yet, but needed to let UA know that we intended to give back in some way.

“Regardless of the value of what each one has planned to give, it’s obvious that they love The University of Alabama,” Hatmaker said about the Denny Society members. “Knowing that you are among people who cherish the University is a nice thing.”

Individuals who include the University in their estate plans are eligible for membership in the Denny Society. Various types of deferred gift arrangements qualify, such as will bequests, trust arrangements, charitable gift annuities, and beneficiary designations in life insurance and retirement plans. There are no gift minimums or age requirements.

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