Sunday, May 25, 2014

FAMU inducts inaugural class of Legacy Society donors

FAMU has a rich and remarkable legacy, and to ensure that its legacy lives on, FAMU alumni are giving back in extraordinary and long-term ways. From bequests and land to endowed scholarship funds and charitable remainder trusts, Rattlers of young and old have committed sustainable financial resources worth millions to the university through unique platforms.

To pay tribute to these dedicated donors, the FAMU Division of University Advancement inducted its inaugural class of the Legacy Society on Friday, May 16, at the 2014 FAMU National Alumni Association Convention in Louisville, Ky.

The inaugural class included the following 16 honorees: Deitra Michelle Benton (Posthumously); Phyllis “PJ” Benton (Posthumously); Mirion P. Bowers, M.D., & Geraldine Nixon Bowers; Alvin Bryant, M.D. (Posthumously); Lt. Col. Gregory L. Clark; Jemal O. Gibson; Erica D. Hill; Carolyn D. Jones, Ph.D.; Madeline D. and Rodney H. Portier (Posthumously); Hezekiah Richardson; Leo P. Sam, Jr.; Kathy Y. Times; Virginia A. Williams; and Freddie Gilliam Young, Ed.D.

According to Audrey Simmons Smith, director of planned and major gifts, the Legacy Society recognizes “the generosity of alumni donors who have made the ultimate expression of faith and support for FAMU” by making generous contributions that will provide financial resources to the university for decades and centuries to come.

Simmons Smith explained that the Legacy Society will also serve as an avenue to encourage and inform alumni about the plethora of options available.

“In order to sustain this great institution, it is imperative that alumni become engaged and give back,” Simmons Smith said. “Our strategy going forward is to continue educating them on the value and simplicity of supporting the university through planned giving.

According to Vice President for University Advancement Thomas J. Haynes Jr., the philanthropic efforts of the honorees not only signify a financial commitment to preserving and extending the FAMU legacy, but also reveal their assurance that FAMU will continue its mission of advancing knowledge for years to come.

“The primary reason most folks participate in the planned giving program is because they believe in the future of this institution,” Haynes said. “Their gift really is about their confidence in the university’s ability to educate future generations.”

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