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Giving a Gift that Supports Your Passion

Giving a Gift that Supports Your Passion

Jenny Lynn Miller Tolson, ʼ78, believes loving what you do and supporting your passions is important. Her 33 year career in special education gave her great enjoyment knowing that she was positively affecting someone's life and now a recent planned gift from Tolson to Meredith College will ensure that Meredith students will continue to go strong.

Tolson's appreciation and loyalty to Meredith College since graduation has not wavered. She only spent three semesters and one summer school session at Meredith after transferring from another college, but she has appreciated how Meredith has kept her connected through the years. That connection led her to give a planned gift last year to the Meredith Fund Endowment.

"I have not been on campus much since graduation, though I did attend my reunion five years ago," said Tolson. "But I have stayed informed through the magazine. I read it cover to cover. Meredith is very good at communicating with alumnae and keeping us apprised of what is happening on campus. And the Going Strong brand gives us such pride to know that we are part of this institution."

Tolson's respect for Meredith and the nurturing environment it provided, led her to pay it forward with this gift. It was a way to show her loyalty to a place that not only educated her, but gave her life long friendships.

"People at Meredith cared for us and took care of us while we were there," said Tolson. "Having a small learning environment at a women's college was important to me and while I was at Meredith I learned I could be strong and independent. It was a real sisterhood."

Tolson majored in American Civilization and also received her K-8 language arts and social studies license. Upon graduation she attended East Carolina University and earned a masters in learning disabilities.

"Around the time I graduated job were scarce, so many of us went on to earn a master's degree. In fact we encouraged each other to continue our education, because we felt we could do whatever we wanted, that we were capable," said Tolson.

Tolson retired five and a half years ago after a long career in special education near Charlotte, N.C. She began reflecting about what was important to her and she wanted her will to be a good reflection of her legacy. After talking with a Meredith institutional advancement staff member at a lunch in Charlotte, Tolson felt a gift to The Meredith Fund greatest needs of the college was important.

"Planned giving is important because it is something you can do now," said Tolson. "People should consider partnering with Meredith to decide what their gift should support. You will make a more informed decision that way and give to where your passion lies. Furthermore it is important to tell the institution if you have made a planned gift, so they can plan for it."

Tolson is grateful for her time at Meredith College and is pleased to see that the College is thriving and educating strong women.

"Time goes by quickly. A planned gift is about giving back and honoring what you were given in your lifetime and helping create a better future for generations to come," said Tolson.