Gift Planning

Gift Planning

Donor Stories

Continuing to Make Important Connections with Columbia

Click here to hear Ellie's story

Eleanor Applewhaite is planning now to make more possible through charitable gift annuities (CGAs) for Columbia Law School.

The connections a person makes can mean everything for a career. For Eleanor (Ellie) Applewhaite ’62LAW, who attended law school at the height of the civil rights movement, her Columbia connections meant everything.

“Columbia has meant my whole profession for me,” Ellie states. “In my class of 240 people, there were exactly two minority students—I was one of them. And, when I got out of law school, there were still a lot of people who didn't want to hire me. But I had two Columbia professors who vouched for me to a federal judge who needed a law clerk. He had never had a female law clerk, forget about having a minority.”

After two years working for the federal judge, Ellie went on to work for CBS in its law department. She would finish her career as vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary for public television Channels 13 and 21 in New York City.

“Columbia gave me a great deal and
I feel that I should give back, which explains
why I stay involved and give as often as I can.

Because of opportunities that being a Columbia graduate provided throughout her life, Ellie gives back to the school as much as she can. She gives back to Columbia in the form of charitable gift annuities (CGAs) designated specifically for the law school.

“A charitable gift annuity means that you can give to the school, and the amount that you get back on an annual basis approximates or exceeds what you would have gotten had you kept the money [and invested it yourself],” says Ellie on why she made her chosen gifts.

She adds, “The planned gift enables you to give somewhat more than you would be able to give if you were just writing annual checks. So, if you think you have a fair amount of capital, but you know that for your lifetime you need the income, the charitable gift annuity gives you the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. I’ve given Columbia three CGAs because it enables me, each time, to feel that I have given more.”

For Ellie, there is great satisfaction in giving back to Columbia and staying connected with the school that helped her excel in her profession so she can help students the way others at Columbia helped her.

“I’ve spent a lot of time sitting down and talking to people who want and need advice, sometimes with suggestions of where they can go to look for a job,” she says.

“I try to give them a broader perspective of where jobs might be and also what the profession is. Columbia opened my eyes to the breadth of the legal profession. Columbia gave me a great deal and I feel that I should give back, which explains why I stay involved and give as often as I can.”



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