New endowment supports family programming at Majestic Theater

Gabel and LeGros

Trumpet practice sounded from offstage as Jean LeGros '73 and Jeffrey Gabel met at the Majestic Theater to talk about their joint gift in support of family programming.

“Never a dull moment here,” LeGros observed.

“That’s why we built it!” Gabel replied, noting that the facility receives 13 hours of active use on a typical day.

For LeGros, helping to raise the funds to transform the historic theater into a state-of-the-art performance venue is a highlight of her 30-year career at the College. Another highlight came eight years ago, when she was among the first to welcome Gabel to the community when he was named the Majestic's founding executive director.

Immediately, Gabel recognized a kindred spirit. “I can tell we are going to be great colleagues and friends," he told LeGros. Now the two have created the Jean LeGros and Jeffrey Gabel Endowment for Family Programming at the Majestic Theater, to be fully funded with gifts from their estates.

“You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to leave a significant legacy,” Gabel said.

“It’s something everyone can do.” LeGros added. “Being philanthropic is a value I treasure. Neither of us has children, but this is a way we can touch children’s lives.”

Their plans reflect their separate but linked Gettysburg legacies.

LeGros, who arrived in Gettysburg in the fall of 1969, found a great love and a long-time home in the College. In retirement, she earned a master’s degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg and now works there in philanthropy (and has also remembered the Seminary in her estate plans).

Gabel's grandfather graduated from the College in 1911 and the Seminary in 1913, raising his children with Gettysburg values of giving, family, and the welcoming of all people—it just took Gabel a little bit longer to find his home here.

Gabel, who worked for almost 20 years in public television before coming to Gettysburg, enjoyed a close friendship with Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, who believed that “attitudes are caught, not taught.” Gabel has captured that spirit and works to help children catch the joy of live theater. That work will continue thanks to the LeGros and Gabel Endowment, which will provide tomorrow’s students and local families with quality, affordable live performances in Gettysburg College’s Majestic Theater.

One way the College recognizes Jean and Jeffrey’s plans is through membership in the 1832 Society, which honors those who have provided for the Colleges future through a gift in their estate plans. For information about the 1832 Society and how to include the College in your plans, please visit www.gettysburg.edu/plannedgiving or call 888-238-5528.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Article by Emily Clarke

Contact: Tracey Dukert, assistant director of news content, 717.337.6521

Posted: Mon, 16 Jul 2012

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