As a teacher who enjoyed a 33-year career, Willetta Swanson understands the importance of a college education. Willetta taught elementary school from the time she graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1946 until her retirement in 1980. Her passion for assisting young minds and ensuring their bright futures is evident not only from her career choice but also through her continuous support for SUNY Fredonia.
Throughout her career, Willetta set aside money from each paycheck to purchase U.S. Savings Bonds a practice that ultimately allowed her to fulfill her philanthropic goals and, at the same time, secure lifetime financial support for herself and cherished family members.
Having benefited from a previously established charitable gift annuity with the Fredonia College Foundation, Willetta trusted the administration of her gift and saw the value in the guaranteed quarterly income. With that in mind, using the money from the matured bonds, she established three additional and distinct annuities with the foundation. The first will supplement her own retirement income, while the others will provide a lifetime of support to her loved ones in a special way. Doing so has allowed Willetta the joy to be "happy to see her niece and nephew enjoy the extra money."
In addition, as a result of Willetta's foresight, bigheartedness and astute decision-making, the remainder of each annuity, beyond her lifetime, will combine to establish the Willetta Swanson College of Education Dean's Scholarship at SUNY Fredonia. She is creating it to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in childhood education and foster excellence in the teaching profession. In addition to academic achievement, she has made sure that important non-academic factors are considered, such as hard work, conscientiousness, responsibility and youth activity involvement, in addition to having a passion for teaching children. Clearly, these are attributes that we all would be happy to find in our teachers.
Willetta Swanson is a very special friend of SUNY Fredonia, and we are deeply grateful for her generosity and support of the College of Education and the hundreds of future educators it graduates each and every year.
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