Can I be anonymous?

“Can I be anonymous?” This is one of the most common questions I hear from people considering leaving a gift in their will to the University of Alberta. And the answer is, of course you can. In fact, let me tell you a story about a donor who is making a significant difference. Anonymously. 

Last year, I was approached by an accountant representing a U of A graduate who wanted to make a special gift. But the former student wanted to remain unknown. And like many donors, she directed her gift to a program she cared about. 

Let me call her Lisa (not her real name) to make it easier to tell her story.

Lisa wanted to endow a graduate scholarship for students studying for their PhD in English. 

She wanted to make a gift in perpetuity. 

And that's when one great thing happened. 

As Lisa worked with her financial advisor to set up an endowment to go on forever, they discovered how to offer scholarships before Lisa died. Lisa told me that when she'd found she could make an annual $18,000 gift to students while still alive, she "smiled nonstop for two days." 

She was so happy she could do this. 

As you know, many students at the U of A can only continue their studies because of the generous scholarships provided by kind donors like Lisa. 

I'm sure that Lisa smiles every time she thinks about how she's helping students in need. And I guarantee you that in the future, the many students who receive her scholarship will smile ear-to-ear too. 

Scholarships can change a life forever. They mean many people who could not afford to continue their studies get that golden opportunity. 

Kathy Fitzgerald

I'm a U of A graduate, myself. 

I know that much of what I've accomplished in life comes from my time as a student here. We learn to embrace ideas and develop understanding and empathy. We all meet lifelong friends, sometimes life partners, and it's a place where we build the skills that help us make our way in the world. I hope you feel the same. 

So I urge you to consider joining our anonymous donor and consider a special gift in your will. You can be anonymous, or we could recognize you now as a dedicated member of our university community. The choice is, of course, yours.

If you'd like to consider making a gift in your will or some other form of future gift such as life insurance, you can talk to your financial advisor or lawyer. And I encourage you to contact me personally. Everything you tell me will be strictly confidential. And you are under no obligation. 

For a student whose circumstances limit their ability to reach their potential, a scholarship can change their life. You also could be a hero to many students, just like our anonymous friend.

My phone number is 780-492-2616 and my email is