How to Leave a Legacy!

By Smathers, Diane G. | Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, January 1, 2001 | Go to article overview

How to Leave a Legacy!


Smathers, Diane G., Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences


Have you ever envisioned your name in neon lights? Or your picture on the cover of a magazine? Probably. Most adolescents have dreams of fame and fortune, but as we grow older we realize that our recognition and contribution to society will likely not make us world-renowned or find our footprints among those on the celebrity walk. However, the impact that we can have on our family, friends, community, and profession is immeasurable and, I believe, far greater. Society, as a whole, stands to benefit from the work of family and consumer science professionals.

Do you remember that special teacher, Extension agent, or professor who was so important to you and your personal growth and development? That person who mentored you, before you knew the meaning of the word, and whose interest in you helped to shape the person you are today? Well just as you remember and revere that person, there are hundreds of others who also influenced your life and your career through their personal giving or philanthropy. Many of these people you know or would recognize; others are anonymous colleagues known only by their commitment to the profession.

If you truly want to leave a legacy and be remembered for your impact upon the profession, all you need to do is become a donor to the Association. Your gift, no matter how large or small, will make a difference in the life of another professional. I know; I am one who benefited from the generosity of professionals who came before me. My story is a simple one:

I was raised in a very loving family with limited resources. The only way a college degree was attainable was through the receipt of scholarships, fellowships, and educational loans. I completed eight years of college solely with this type of assistance. Had it not been for professionals who gave unselfishly to the various causes, I would not be writing this article today. …

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