Building Connections Through Scholarship

Jeff Hatfield met the love of his life at Drake University. But if it wasn't for Drake's generous scholarships, he and his wife, Liz, may never have crossed paths.

When a divorce in her family affected Liz's ability to attend Drake, the University worked with her to provide a financial aid package that allowed her to be a Bulldog.

Liz would go on to be Drake's first ever human resources major—something she created from Drake's individualized major program—and Jeff would follow in his dad's footsteps to receive an undergraduate and graduate degree from Drake.

As they built their lives together, Jeff and Liz began to look for ways to give back and started by including Drake in their wills at the age of 30.

"We've had some good years in our lives, but the best years in our lives were our four years at Drake," says Jeff. "Everything was amazing, exciting, and new. Our gift highlights that Drake is very important to us, first because we met there, but also because we received an education that has provided us with many opportunities."

Their bequest paid forward Drake's generosity to Liz, creating a scholarship to assist students who otherwise may not be able to attend the University. The Hatfields also fund the scholarship for current Drake students.

"We want to give back to a student who might be in Liz's situation, where $5,000 per year really means something to them, so they don't have to work 60 hours a week on top of school or don't have to leave Drake to go back home," says Jeff. "The aim is to help someone who needs additional aid because of a family emergency and to fill a gap between what they could afford and what they can now afford."

Jeff says funding the scholarship now allows them to witness the positive impact of their giving while providing students with the same experiences he and Liz shared.

"You do get nostalgic about your alma mater," he says. "This is a way to help someone else build those memories and form new relationships. Our scholarship can be the difference between a student graduating from Drake or not, and it does feel good to see someone's life changed for the better."

Like the Hatfields, you can help future Bulldogs pursue their dreams by funding a scholarship through a gift in your estate plan. Contact John Amato at john.amato@drake.edu or 515-271-2849 to start planning your gift.