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Making an endowment-level gift — on the installment plan

Giving News

By Clare R. Hudspeth

Dan and Shannon MacLemoreThe general assumption is that recent UT alumni maintain their connection to the campus through things like football games and social events with friends. It’s rare to think of young graduates making endowment-level gifts. After all, they’re starting careers, buying first homes, marrying, and having children. It’s a time of life when expenses often outpace income.

For Dan MacLemore, a 1999 UT graduate, it seemed impossible to contribute in any way other than by volunteering his time, which he has done by serving on Texas Exes scholarship and governmental affairs committees. The young attorney and his wife, Shannon, wanted a deeper involvement in the educational mission of the University, however, and felt a strong allegiance to the College of Liberal Arts, where Dan received his BA in government.

Dan and Shannon, who now live in Waco with their two small children, talked about how Dan’s mother had put him through college and graduate school. He told Shannon he wanted to give back to the University and do something for his mother at the same time. “Education is so important to her,” he says. “So we decided to set up a scholarship in her name.”

Agreeing to put aside some funds each month, they realized they could endow a scholarship in the same way they give to their church — not by writing one huge check, but by consistent, regular giving. “This gift will take us five years, and after all, five years isn’t all that long,” says Shannon. “Then we can do other things, and this gift will last forever.”

The scholarship fund was initiated at the end of November 2002, just before Dan’s 25th birthday and in time for Dan and Shannon to give his mother a Christmas gift — the documents to set up the Julie MacLemore Endowed Scholarship in Liberal Arts. She was so touched, she cried.

The couple recently reached the 20-percent funding level for the scholarship. That is the threshold at which the UT System Board of Regents can officially establish it as a named endowment. When the endowment is fully funded in a few more years, the interest it generates will allow scholarships to be awarded to Liberal Arts undergraduates.

“Young alums can do a lot more than get together for social events,” says Dan. “They can help the University achieve its goals by giving their time and service. They can even make gifts of endowments, which will provide permanent support for the University. They can have a lasting impact.”

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