University Advancement

Office of Planned Giving
John Dodge House
507 Golf View
Rochester, MI 48309-4488

(248) 370-3698
Fax (248) 370-6141


Lee and Sylvia Anderson

Oakland University has played an important role in the lives of Sylvia and Lee Anderson. In 1976 Sylvia earned a master's degree in reading at OU. She taught as an elementary school reading teacher for 30 years. Lee worked in Oakland's financial aid office beginning in 1976, serving as its director from 1986 until his retirement in 2001. As an alumna and a retiree, the couple have had a meaningful relationship with the University.

Inspired by their own experiences as well as a strong desire to create a lasting legacy, the Andersons made a charitable bequest to OU through a provision in their trust. The planned gift establishes an endowed scholarship for students in the School of Education and Human Services. Specifically, the scholarship will be awarded to a student during his or her semester of student teaching. As a financial aid director, Lee saw that there were relatively few scholarship opportunities for education majors and nothing available for student teachers. Sylvia remembers how difficult it was to make ends meet when she was a student teacher. "We want our gift to lighten the financial burden for students," says the pair.

A current estate plan is vital in helping the Andersons achieve their personal and philanthropic goals. "We had a will drawn up 15 years ago. But after both of my parents passed away in 2018, we realized the importance of establishing a trust—especially since we don't have any children," explains Lee. Last fall the couple sat down with their attorney to update their plan. "Knowing our charitable bequest will continue to support the University long after we're gone gives us a good feeling," adds Sylvia. "We hope our gift inspires others to do the same."

"We are extremely grateful to Sylvia and Lee for their generous gift, which will positively impact students in the School of Education and Human Services for generations to come," says Colette O'Connor, senior director of planned giving.


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