Personal Giving Stories

lawrencekennedy.jpgDear Friends and Colleagues,

My wife Valaree has always been a strong advocate of a college education and feels it is the pathway to a better life. In thinking of a birthday gift for her about eight years ago, I decided to start a scholarship fund as a way to honor her and address a need of UIC students. Because many UIC students are the first in their families to attend college and come from varied backgrounds, often with limited resources, I wanted to help them by establishing the Valaree J. Kennedy Scholarship Fund, which recognizes our most qualified students.

I've worked in higher education for most of my life, all across the country. Most recently I served as professor of mechanical engineering in UIC's College of Engineering, where I was also dean for 10 years. After I retired, Valaree and I began considering our estate planning. As we did when we set up the scholarship fund, we wanted to impact the lives of others in a meaningful and ongoing way.

Recently Valaree and I discovered the IRS's mandatory distribution requirements for our tax-deferred 403(b) plan could help us achieve our philanthropic goals. As a result, we were able to use a gift planning strategy that allowed us to donate money from our retirement plan without incurring income-tax liability. We increased our contribution to the Valaree J. Kennedy Scholarship Fund to make it a permanent University of Illinois Foundation endowment. In this way, we are assisting future generations of students to achieve their goals.

Valaree and I believe strongly in the extraordinary return an investment in higher education provides. What better investment can we make in the prosperity and well-being of our country than to educate our young people? At the same time, Valaree and I have the satisfaction of knowing that on a practical level we are helping qualified students attend college. And so, we encourage you, concerned UIC alumni, faculty, staff and friends, to help our students become all they are capable of becoming.

Please consider UIC in your estate planning. It's as simple as requesting information with the enclosed response card or using the information in the blue-shaded box at the bottom of the back side of this newsletter to include UIC in your plans.


Dr. Lawrence A. Kennedy

The U of I Foundation gift planning staff is pleased to answer your questions and offer assistance at any time. Please contact the Foundation to learn more.



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