Texas Leader Spotlight

Meet University of Texas at Austin alumni and friends who are changing the world through philanthropy and careful estate planning.
Rich & Jill Piasecki

Rich & Jill Piasecki

Austin, TX

Why did you choose to include UT in your estate plan?

Jill and I both graduated from Purdue University in Indiana. Even though we aren’t Longhorns, Austin has been our home for 30 years, and UT is an important part of our city.

We believe in giving and donating because we feel it’s the right thing to do. We choose our charities based on our passions and causes that are important to us. As a cancer survivor, I know firsthand the importance of well-trained medical professionals. I am passionate about supporting medical education, so giving back to health care providers was top of mind.

We have made a bequest to Dell Medical School that will help future doctors focus on their patients and their studies without the burden of debt. Supporting endowments for medical students is a great way to help ensure that talented and motivated individuals have the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine, regardless of their financial circumstances.

What impact do you want your gift to make?

We hope to put our assets to use so they can help someone who is trying to do some good in the world. It’s nice to think our gift could help pay for a doctor’s education and that he or she will save some lives. We also hope our gift will inspire others to give. A lot of medical students graduate with huge student loans. It would be great if more people would support endowments so medical students could have their degrees paid for.

Larry Parks, BBA ’70<br />
& Sheri Starkey Parks

Larry Parks, BBA ’70 & Sheri Starkey Parks

Rockwall, TX

What are your favorite UT memories?

The relationships we built at UT still exist today. When we get together with UT friends now, it almost always involves a UT sporting event.

Sheri: During my three years at UT, I had friends on the football team and enjoyed going to games to support them. I also have fond memories of attending Longhorn baseball games with my friends.

Larry: During my freshman year at UT, I lived in a private dorm three blocks west of campus. There I met three of my lifelong best friends. To this day, we see each other as often as possible and communicate weekly.

How did UT prepare you for success?

The great mentors we had at UT have had an invaluable impact on our career success. There was always somebody willing to help along the way, and that encouragement and support opened a lot of doors for us.

Why did you choose to make a gift to UT?

We both have a passion for philanthropy and giving back our time, talents and treasures. Everyone deserves to feel like someone is in their corner. We want to offer a helping hand to those who need assistance due to their health, financial or life circumstances.

What impact do you want your gift to make?

We chose to include UT in our estate plan because we want to support research efforts that will benefit everyone in the health care space. We hope our gift will encourage students and foster their talents at one of the top research universities in the nation. Our contributions to Dell Medical School could be the thread that leads to monumental innovation in health care and help change the world.

David Druley, BBA ’88, MBA ’03 and Melissa Druley

David Druley, BBA ’88, MBA ’03 & Melissa Druley

Dallas, TX

What are your favorite UT memories?

When I attended UT, Austin was a much sleepier place. Downtown was completely undeveloped. Every weekend, my friends and I would go there to listen to live music, then walk back to our dorms. I still keep in touch with friends from my undergrad days, and it was through one of those friends that I was introduced to my wife, Melissa — and the rest is history!

How did UT prepare you for success?

While attending graduate school, a professor connected me with an executive in the finance industry, an experience I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams. The knowledge I gained from that life-changing opportunity allowed me to pursue my career in investment management.

Why did you choose to include UT in your estate plans?

David: The University of Texas has had a powerful impact on us, and we want to pay that forward. Our life’s goal is to do all we can to close the “opportunity divide” — and one way to do that is to support scholarships, both now and in the future.

Melissa: UT has been so welcoming to me and so supportive of David that every time we visit, it feels like we’re coming home. We’re very grateful for all the incredible work that’s going on at the University. The feeling of knowing that our gift is going to support students and help people thrive is a priceless one.

What impact do you want your gift to make?

David: Education is so important to us. We hope our gift can help those students who need some financial assistance to go to UT and gain a world-class education.

Melissa: We want everyone who has the merit to attend UT to have the opportunity without worrying about how they’re going to get here.

Increase Your Impact

When you document a planned gift through a Legacy Challenge, you can unlock immediate additional funds for a participating college or school — and choose which area those funds will support.

Texas Leader Magazine

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