For Elaine Alexander, a non-alumna of Florida State who lived 3,000 miles from Tallahassee in the Seattle area, the opportunity to connect with FSU was seldom.
But all of that changed when her husband, Robert C. Alexander '68, '72, lost his battle with cancer in late 2009. Since then, an unlikely journey has taken place, and new connections, grand generosity and the ultimate pursuit of the greater good have helped Elaine heal the wounds left by the loss of her husband.
Elaine's tie to Florida State is through her husband, Bob, who received both his undergraduate degree in business administration and an MBA from Florida State's College of Business. Elaine remembers life in Tallahassee while Bob was in school, but during her return to the area for last year's James D. Westcott Legacy Society Luncheon, she acknowledged how many things have changed about the city and the Florida State campus.
One thing, though, remained the same almost 40 years later: the house she and Bob rented in 1972. "I was shocked to see that our old house was still standing and looked virtually the same," Elaine says.
To honor the memory of her beloved husband, Elaine decided to make multiple gifts to FSU that would provide assistance to students who demonstrate financial need. Through an outright gift, Elaine first established the Robert C. Alexander Scholarship Fund for students enrolled in the MBA program in the College of Business.
"Deferred gifts are great," Elaine says, "but immediate gifts are really, very rewarding." After generously creating the scholarship, Elaine then decided to name FSU as beneficiary of her IRA and investment account, which, she says, her husband would have appreciated.
"Bob had named Florida State as a contingent beneficiary of his estate, and I wanted to honor him and fulfill his wishes."
By choosing to make both an outright gift and an estate gift, Elaine's generosity has yielded not only immediate results, but will ultimately benefit students in perpetuity. She encourages others to consider making similar gifts through their estate plan as a way to honor loved ones.
"A planned gift was a great way to involve Bob's entire family in honoring his life," Elaine says. "Bob had such a wonderful spirit of adventure, and it gave me a great deal of pleasure to honor him in a way that will help others fulfill their dreams."
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