Providing for the well being of others is a powerful and meaningful enterprise. It's also something that requires individuals to bring their entire selves - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially to the task. Because of that, the act of giving turns out to be one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer.
This year, 40 or so American billionaires have pledged to give away at least half of their wealth to charity through The Giving Pledge. These generous folks are clearly the economic elite. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who launched this effort, and Ted Turner who loves to make money, and to give it away, are some of those you might recognize. One of the 40 you might not know is Bernard Osher who is called by some "the quiet philanthropist." Years ago, Bernard and his wife, Barbro, decided to give all their wealth to charity before they die. And luckily for us, they have provided millions of dollars to the College of Continuing Education to support lifelong learning and lifelong learners. Their giving is enhancing and empowering lives every day here at the University of Minnesota.
This urge to share is alive and well across all among all of us. A recent study "Having Less, Giving More" suggests people with the least money are particularly motivated by a greater dependence on and concern for social relationships and, give a statistically larger percent of their incomes to charity. Many people know about Oseola McCarty, who in 1995 after working as a washer woman for her entire life, gave all her hard-earned savings, $150,000, to finance scholarships for black students at the University of Southern Mississippi. I even remember my own father getting dinged on his tax return because his charitable contributions exceeded the norm for a public school teacher with a family of eight.
Well, we believe in the greater good, in education, and in sharing our resources to brighten the future for others. This fall with the holidays and Thanksgiving coming up, I want to thank every one of you who have given of your resources to the College and its students. I hope your largesse has provided you with a great experience. And, to those who haven't yet made a gift, I invite you to try it. I think you'll like it!
All the best,
Director of Development
College of Continuing Education