The late Dr. Charles and Lois Elliott always knew that they wanted to leave a legacy to EIU in their estate plan to honor the many years Dr. Elliott taught in EIU's School of Technology (1945-1973). A scholarship endowment was created and was awarded right away when he retired. "We knew we wanted to create the scholarship and did while we could enjoy meeting the recipients," Lois shared. "'Hoop' really enjoyed getting to know the recipients." When Dr. Elliott passed away in 1988, Lois wanted to make an additional gift to the scholarship that meant so much to her beloved, "Hoop." She contacted the philanthropy staff who presented her with the idea of a Charitable Gift Annuity. After consulting with her attorney, Mrs. Elliott created her first of several CGAs benefiting scholarships in the School of Technology.
A charitable gift annuity (CGA) allows a donor to make a gift to a charitable organization, like EIU, and receive a fixed rate of return for that gift for the rest of the donor's life. CGA's usually pay a higher interest rate to the donor than what he or she could get from another secured investment like a savings account. It also relieves the donor from worrying about market fluctuations. A CGA is a good charitable giving vehicle for those who want to leave a legacy and need the income during their retirement but do not necessarily want to keep the asset. The rate of return on the gift depends upon the donor's age, the value of the gift at the time it is given, and other donor information. There are also several tax advantages that can benefit the donor with this type of giving arrangement.
The thought of managing investments was daunting to Mrs. Elliott, and she admitted that her retirement income has been better than she anticipated since creating her first CGA. Many of her friends had to adjust their lifestyles based upon the fluctuation of the stock market, but Mrs. Elliott continued to enjoy traveling and other activities until she neared the end of her life that she might not otherwise have been able to enjoy with the worry of her investments. Mrs. Elliott really liked the fact that the CGA guaranteed a fixed interest rate for the rest of her life.
Mrs. Elliott planned to make a gift through her estate plan anyway. By giving it early, she increased her income, which allowed her a living expense while Eastern still received the money she wanted to give.
Lois once said, "The best thing about giving is knowing the difference 'Hoop' and I have made in the lives of the students who benefit from the scholarships. We've gotten to meet many of them and have stayed in touch over the years. It is very satisfying to know that we've helped a student obtain their education ... some have even gone on to complete doctorate degrees!"
Dr. Mary Lou Hubbard remembers the emphasis her mother put on her as a little girl to obtain an education and to be self-sufficient. "She always told me not to depend on a man for change," Dr. Hubbard fondly recalls. Mary Lou's mother, Eileen, began college in 1934 through the generosity of an uncle, but was only able to complete two years before the money ran out.
Eileen later married Robert Hubbard, but the desire to obtain an education as a woman remained important. Eileen spent her life volunteering for her church and community with Girl Scouts, King's Daughters, hospital auxiliary, Red Cross, YWCA and school functions.
"My mother was not able to finish her education, but her support and encouragement were the driving force for me to complete my education," daughter Mary Lou adds.
Eileen Hubbard passed away of leukemia in 1987, and her husband and daughter decided to memorialize her life by creating a scholarship at Eastern Illinois University. With an initial cash gift, the Hubbard family created the Eileen F. Hubbard Scholarship, which is awarded annually to an upper division undergraduate Family and Consumer Sciences major, the area in which Mary Lou Hubbard teaches. The Hubbards created the application criteria to best reflect Eileen's values: emphasis on service, leadership, academic success, and financial need. The scholarship endowment fund now supports two scholarships to deserving students. The Hubbards are pleased with the legacy that they have created for Eileen at Eastern and enjoy the students.
"We give to help students," Mary Lou says. "We want to help others achieve the academic goals that my mother was not able to achieve. It feels good to know that you have made a difference in someone's life. I know my mother would be pleased."