My first professional position in Development was with the Eugene Arts Foundation that created the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in Eugene, Oregon. We devised and offered permanent recognition for all gifts, including naming rights ($3 million). I am well versed with the words we use to ask for gifts for Children’s Village and Cottage in the Meadow. Until recently I had lost the touch with the true significance of legacy on a personal level.
Recently my husband made a gift to honor my parents in the name of my daughters and myself. It was a surprise. Seeing the family I have nurtured and loved linked to something honoring my father and mother was not anything I had ever imagined, despite my having made a career out of creating opportunities for legacy gifts. Witnessing firsthand the reality of an enduring gift, whether it’s a name etched in stone, a plaque upon a boardroom wall, is nearly indescribable.
Over the span of his career (and life) my father penned sermons and books that have stood the test of time. As I reflect on my own life and career, looking ahead to many more years of connecting causes, communities and individuals through both programming and philanthropy, I treasure the opportunity to create gestures of support and legacy in new ways.