Deborah Dunlevy Todd didn’t graduate from LSU. She wasn’t born in Baton Rouge, wasn’t raised a Tiger and has no LSU alumni in her family. But she included LSU in her will.
“I came to Baton Rouge, and I fell in love with Baton Rouge,” she said. Since moving to the area in 1995, Todd has been an active arts patron in the community, becoming involved with the Baton Rouge Symphony, LSU Opera, Opera Louisiane and the Louisiana Youth Orchestra.
“I didn’t attend LSU, but I benefit from LSU and from the School of Music,” she explained, adding, “Because their reach—the professors, the students—all are involved in the community, whether they’re teachers in the public school system, they’re performers of some sort, they’re musicians in the orchestra, or they sing with Opera Louisiane … You don’t have to be an LSU graduate to benefit from all the things that can come from it in the community.”
Todd, who owns an advertising agency based in Baton Rouge, credits her background in the arts for much of her success today. She shared that between her elementary school’s arts education program and the private lessons her family provided, she had an excellent music education as a child. “I believe that fine arts foundation taught me things like teamwork, and responsibility to get my work done and achieving things,” she said. “As a result of that, I believe I’ve had a very successful career because of my foundation in music, and being part of a band and being part of an orchestra.”
Todd made a bequest—a gift of cash, property or other asset made through a will or living trust—to the LSU Foundation for the benefit of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts. Her gift will support the college’s scholarship program.
“My gift isn’t that large,” Todd shared, “but if you can consider in your planned giving even a small gift to LSU, it can go a long way in supporting the students and supporting the scholarship programs.”
Bequests may provide for a specific dollar amount in cash, for specific securities or articles of tangible property, or as a percentage of the residual of an estate. They may be given as unrestricted gifts or gifts restricted to a purpose or program.
Published in Cornerstone Winter 2013 and Spring 2014.