Long hours of conversation over dinner at Mather Hall were some of Elaine Patterson’s most cherished memories during her time at Trinity. “There’s no doubt those conversations helped me figure out who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go and gave me the emotional support I needed to keep moving forward.”
Fast forward forty five years later, Elaine revels in some of that same camaraderie and companionship with fellow alumnae members in the Marjorie Butcher Circle. As Trinity’s first alumnae-driven women’s philanthropy effort, the group was formed to celebrate and encourage philanthropy amongst alumnae at Trinity College.
Upon reflection on her own personal philanthropy, she sees her outright giving and her bequest intention as a way to pay it forward. “Generations of people before me donated to Trinity and helped it become the college that I wanted to attend. I’ve always felt a responsibility to make sure I continue that effort, to hold up my part of the bargain for future Trinity students. I was influenced by being at Trinity in the early years of coeducation.”
When it came time to make decisions about estate planning, giving to education had always been a priority Elaine shared with her husband Gregg, so the decision to include Trinity was an easy one. Elaine also remarked on the flexibility of gift planning and the broad range of options to have an impact. “We were very happy to have a way to dedicate future funds to the college without risking funds we might need during our later years,” she stated.
As an avid supporter of financial aid in her annual gifts and by way of her estate, Elaine says, “Trinity is still important to me because I’ve seen how Trinity has become a much better college and offers much more to students than in my time. I probably took Trinity for granted while I was there, but seeing it through the eyes of recent or current students makes me even more committed to the college’s future.”