Testimonials: Many Gifts, Many Reasons

Carol Kehr Tittle, Professor Emerita, Educational Psychology
When I was Professor and EO of Educational Psychology I funded fellowship grants in my program by making periodic contributions to a “spend-down” fellowship fund. Now that I am retired I still care about the students. The most feasible way for me to create an endowment to continue the fellowships was to name the Graduate Center as a beneficiary of my TIAA-CREF account. I am not risking my financial security in making this gift and I feel good knowing that future generations of students will benefit.
Marvin Carlson, Distinguished Professor, Sidney E. Cohen Professor of Theatre and Comparative Literature
I have had many very productive and happy years here and when I realized it was possible, I decided to make a major gift to the Graduate Center. I gave a great deal of thought to the needs of the Theatre Program and decided that I wanted to further the Graduate Center’s connections with the national and international theatre community. I chose to do this by making a gift to the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, for publications, international visitors, and support for theatre students’ involvement with Segal Center’s activities. I am pleased that I am able to make a significant gift now and begin see the realization of my intentions, while leaving another portion of my gift as a bequest.

Hear more: An Extraordinary Gift: Marvin Carlson on Theatre and the Importance of Education
Rohit Parikh, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science, Math, Philosophy
Sometimes I work with doctoral students from NYU or Columbia and it is sad to see that our students have so much less time to work on their dissertations than they do. So any financial help we can give to students is to be thought of very favorably. The reason that I thought of making my contribution for student fellowships through a charitable gift annuity is that at my age a small stipend also matters. I have two gifts annuities with the Graduate Center. One provides a payment to my former wife on her birthday. My other GC annuity, which is in memory of my mother, provides income to me. So it is nice to get something back while also helping the Graduate Center.
Caroline Urvater, Trustee, the Graduate Center Foundation
I have been devoted to public education all my life. The Graduate Center is a place I believe in, and of which I am an alumna. I want to support it not only by serving as a trustee, but also by being a donor. When I make my annual gifts to the library and to the centers and programs that I care about, I do so as a member of the Graduate Center community. This gives me great pleasure. In order to make a one-time, major gift, I chose to create a charitable remainder trust. I am not fabulously wealthy and it is helpful to me to receive income from the trust. At the same time, I am happy to know that when I die, my trust will benefit the programs that I supported during my lifetime.

Hear more: A Conversation with: Caroline Urvater on the Importance of Legacy Giving and Public Higher Education

Judith Milhous, Lucille Lortel Distinguished Professor of Theatre Emerita
In these difficult times for education, I think it’s important for us to stand up for the CUNY model.  Many Graduate Center faculty members who could make more money teaching elsewhere choose to stay because of the stimulating environment and because we believe in the idea of low-cost education.  While I live, I’m dividing my contributions three ways: to the Library, the heart of the process, which serves all students; to the Foundation, which is supposed to have a broad picture of the institutional needs; and to my program, Theatre, to encourage students who particularly need financial aid.  From my will, the Graduate Center can look forward to a less restricted gift.  I trust the CUNY model will continue to function to bring bright and motivated students to the Graduate Center.
Susan Halpern, Ph.D. English, 1972 and Robert Halpern Ph.D. Philosophy, 1975, former Trustee
Sometimes marriages are made in heaven and sometimes at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. My wife and I were introduced by a CUNY graduate while we were students at GC. Susan and I have had the incidental benefit of growing together for 40 plus years. We have remained committed to the ideal of intensive study of the humanities. I served on the Board of the Graduate Center Foundation and we watched as the Graduate Center, which always had a serious academic reputation, continued to evolve and grow. It is particularly rewarding to us to witness the evolution of an institution which has built on the CUNY’s mission to provide education at all levels to a population which reflects the richness of New York. My wife and I established a modest charitable gift annuity at the Graduate Center a few years ago and would hope to further that financial involvement as time passes. We would urge you to join us and to consider similarly providing financial support at levels which are comfortable for you.

Esther H. Rose, MD
In the late 1960s, my mother Rose K. Rose, a recently widowed single mother of a teenage daughter (me), undertook studies at the newly formed Graduate Center to earn the Ph.D. in Chemistry she had long hoped for. She balanced her course work with her full-time teaching position at Kingsboro Community College and after she received her Ph.D. in 1976 continued teaching at Kingsboro for the remainder of her career, attaining the rank of full Professor. In 2002, Rose started a dissertation fellowship award for chemistry graduate students. After she passed away in 2007, I decided to fund the Rose Kfar Rose Dissertation Award fund as a permanent endowment. When she was a CUNY graduate student, Rose was nominated for a new award for graduate students, named for Mina Rees. So that even more students in the future can benefit from the Rose Kfar Rose Dissertation Award it is my honor to become a member of the Mina Rees Society by naming the Graduate Center as a beneficiary of the IRA account which I inherited from my mother.