The new Class of 1962 Gettysburg Fund Scholarship has special meaning to Judy Curchin Vandever '62 who honored the memory of her husband through a gift funded by a charitable IRA rollover.
"Jack looked upon his Gettysburg College education as part of the foundation of the good life that followed, and I think he looked at his annual gift as a payback of sorts," said Judy Vandever about her recent gift to Gettysburg College.
For more than 50 years, Gettysburg College played an integral role in the lives of Jack and Judy Vandever. The College sweethearts married soon after graduation in 1962 and lived the US Army life, moving around until Jack's military work brought him to Maryland, close to Gettysburg, where they resided for 33 years. Jack served on the Gettysburg College Commission on the Future and the Gettysburg College Alumni Board prior to his death in 2011.
Members of the Alumni Board, including Jack, shared a strong interest in the area of student diversity at Gettysburg College. "Jack knew that there were potential students out there—bright, enthusiastic, focused kids—who would look at the cost of a year at Gettysburg and not even bother to apply," Judy said. She recalls how happy Jack was when he last visited campus and saw the great strides the College had made in bringing together a more diverse student body.
Both Judy and Jack understood the hardship involved in paying for any college education. Judy empathizes with today's students, and their parents, as they try to pay for college and she hopes to lighten their burden through her gift to Gettysburg College. "Although we lived frugally, it was a priority to send a generous gift to the school each year," she said.
Even while fighting his lengthy illness, Jack discussed a planned gift to Gettysburg College. Time was not on his side, so Judy is continuing the pursuit of his idea to "do something special" for Gettysburg College.
Now, as Judy plans for her 50th class reunion, she is very supportive of the newly created Class of 1962 Gettysburg Fund Scholarship, which the class has initiated as part of their reunion effort. Her personal reunion gift was made by means of a charitable IRA rollover. Through December 31, 2011, charitable IRA rollover legislation allowed the transfer of lifetime gifts up to $100,000 using funds from an individual retirement account (IRA) without undesirable tax effects. Both Judy's accountant and lawyer agreed this rollover was a great way for her to make this gift.
Reflecting on the ease of making the transfer, Judy said, "It seems like it was meant to be!"
"The Class of 1962 Gettysburg Fund Scholarship gift is a perfect way to honor Jack's life. I know it will go to a student who could not otherwise afford to be here, and it will make a positive difference in that student's life and in our community at large. It gives me great pleasure to be able to fund this scholarship in Jack's memory."