“My father was the last person who ever wanted recognition. He was a very modest, humble man…very accomplished.”
One could easily say the same for Calla*, who recently chose to honor her father’s legacy by making an anonymous estate gift to USF Health valued at more than $1 million.
The anonymous donor adored her father, who served on the USF faculty and was the prolific author of more than 100 scientific articles and two textbooks in his field. She followed in his academic and professional footsteps, including serving on the faculty of a prominent university in her town.
“Growing up I knew he was very committed to education and to sharing his knowledge with others..and he surely knew plenty,” recalled Calla.
Calla’s father gave back through pro bono service and civic involvement, something she has also emulated in her own life.
“I can’t imagine not giving back; I’ve had an incredibly good life. Being in health care is serving other people—in the office, on nonprofit boards, it’s just something I have to do,” said Calla, who also supports charitable causes in her local community. “I don’t understand people who don’t.”
Calla chose to make her commitment to a fund in her father’s name by naming USF Health as a beneficiary in her will. “After I’m gone, I don’t need it, and it’s a painless way to give a substantial amount in honor of my father.”
“We are extremely grateful for this generous gift, which is especially meaningful because of the family legacy it will honor,” said Neil Fenske MD, chair of dermatology at the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “This gift will allow us to endow our chief resident salary in perpetuity, and because of the nationwide demand for top providers, the impact of the endowment will significantly propel us forward.”
“I would urge people to consider giving while they’re still alive as planned gifts, because they can’t take it with them,” she said. “I want my heirs to think of me kindly—but I want them to work. I want to give my assets that I haven’t spent to nonprofits that are important to me, that use the money wisely. I think I have made good choices.”
* Name changed