Stock gift honors grandfather and father

Stock gift honors grandfather and father

Becky Moore White (82C) had a personal connection to Berry College long before she ever enrolled.

Her grandfather served as Martha Berry's head gardener at Oak Hill and her father attended Possum Trot school. It's no wonder, then, that when Becky first visited campus, she felt right at home.

Berry was everything Becky wanted in a college, but there was one problem. She was the youngest of four children, and family funds for school were tight. Like so many before her, a scholarship made it possible for Becky to walk through Berry's Gate of Opportunity. Decades later, she made that same opportunity available for others by using stock to establish The Elijah Francis Moore Endowed Scholarship honoring her grandfather and father.

A life shaping education

Growing up in Decatur, Ga., Becky looked up to her older siblings, but also longed to be recognized as something more than someone's little sister. At Berry, she got the chance to "come into" her own.

Taking classes from Dr. Peter Lawler ignited her passion for political science. A summer study abroad in Germany led by Dr. Gus deBerdt opened her eyes to the world. Chaplain Larry Green allowed Becky and some friends to form the Wesley Foundation, a campus organization still serving Methodist students today. Her work on the paint crew and as an RA contributed to her sense of success and confidence, preparing her for her first job at the Goethe Institute German Cultural Center in Atlanta. After a year there, Becky returned to school, earning a master's in education from Georgia State University. She devoted the next 31 years to teaching social studies - government, U.S. and world history, and geography - in the Gwinnett County School System.

The gift

Over the years, Becky had watched her parents generously support her mother's alma mater and knew the difference giving could make in students' lives. It was something she and her husband wanted to do at Berry but raising two children on their teacher and electrician's salaries left little cash available for philanthropy. Before Becky's dad died, she even spoke with him about her plan to honor him and his father by endowing a scholarship at Berry through an estate gift. He was touched.

Sometime later, while reviewing her stock portfolio, Becky noticed that its value had grown significantly. "For a long time, that stock portfolio was our safety net," she recalled. "It was there in case we had an emergency, but with the kids grown, it just made sense to use it to fund the scholarship, rather than an estate gift. One stock dad had given me in 1999 had grown 400%. I didn't want to pay taxes on that! So, I thought, 'Why not give it to Berry, get the full benefit of the stock, and not pay capital gains tax?' It just made sense."

Giving a stock gift is easy, according to Becky. Once you've determined which stock to donate, simply contact Berry's advancement office and they will walk you through the process. While Becky's gift funded a scholarship, you can use stock to support any project, program, or need at Berry. And if you do choose to set up a scholarship, you don't have to create the fund all at once with one gift, it can be done over multiple years, as Becky did.

Scholarships were important to Becky, but the main reason she chose to establish one with her stock gift was so she could name it. Now, knowing her grandfather and father will be forever remembered at Berry moves her to tears.

"When you think about it, most of us won't be remembered past a generation or two," she said. "All of the people my grandfather and father knew are dead. This is just a way to keep their memory alive. They were important people, important enough to be remembered."

To learn more about how you can memorialize a loved one and change students' lives with a gift of stock, contact Helen Lansing, senior planned giving officer, at 706-378-2867 or


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