In 2005, Dorothy Harrington established a donation to her alma mater using an annuity. Her gift provided her with an ongoing source of income, and allowed for a donation toward the Isbister Scholarship Fund. Dorothy passed away unexpectedly on December 9, 2010, just three months after visiting campus for Homecoming - all the way from her home in Roswell, Georgia. Recently, the university received a final beneficiary payment from her annuity and even though she is gone, her memory lives on in the support that others will receive from her generosity. As a memorial and tribute to Dorothy, we are sharing her story as told to us in 2005.
To paraphrase the late, great Hank Snow, university graduate Dorothy Harrington (née Grahame) has indeed “been everywhere.” Originally from Teulon, Manitoba and now living in the United States, this Class of ’50 Human Ecology graduate has lived and traveled extensively throughout her life, going to exotic destinations such as Italy, Turkey, the Middle East and Switzerland. Everywhere she visited, Harrington felt truly thankful for the experience, and it is why she is committed to ‘giving back’ to the university. Harrington enjoys recounting her days at the University of Manitoba.
High on her list of fond memories is living in Taché residence, despite that “all of us had to sign in and out with the fellow on the door, and we only got to go home one weekend a month,” Harrington recalls with a smile. Living on campus gave Harrington a chance to meet students from across Canada, as well as those from other faculties. Her university career was filled with fun and great times despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to spoil the party. As Harrington points out, 1950 was not only her grad year; it was the year of Manitoba’s Great Flood. She laughingly recalls how she and her dorm mates would “run out every night to see how high the river was…to know if we’d be floating in our beds the next morning!”
As a result of the flood, Harrington’s class never had a graduation ceremony. She was the proud recipient of two scholarships, including the prestigious Isbister Undergraduate Scholarship in 1949. In fact, it was Harrington’s connection to the Isbister Scholarships that led to her decision to donate to the university in later years. A recent contribution was made in the form of a charitable annuity. “It makes you feel good about helping others” says Harrington. “Also, it’s a good rate of return on your money, and the income tax break is helpful. There are pluses all the way around.”
Charitable gift plus annuities (though seemingly complex) are a great way to give back to the university while earning a competitive rate of return on your investment. For more senior donors, the entire amounts of the annuity payments are tax-free. At a time in life when many seniors need to be careful with their savings, charitable gift plus annuities can be a helpful tool.
In Harrington’s case, the charitable gift plus annuity was a natural fit. As she recalls, her generation (raised in the shadow of the Great Depression and coming of age during the Second World War) “…knew how to make our own fun.” Clearly, Harrington’s generation also knows how to make its own legacy, which will benefit the generations of students coming after them.