Beverly & Will O'Hara
Co-Chairs, Laureate Society
Click below to hear why the O'Haras chose to support the University through their estate planning and why it is so important.
Beverly and Will O'Hara grew up knowing the meaning of hard work. They also grew up believing that you should always give back.
Will worked his way through college while earning his BBA in accounting from The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business before going on to have an international business career.
As they have traveled on life's journey, the couple has always reflected back and supported the causes that were most important to them. "We are fortunate to not only be able to talk the talk, but to be able to walk the walk," Will said.
The O'Haras first became acquainted with the UT Health Science Center through a letter they received from President Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., asking them to consider becoming members of the President's Council. From that point forward, the couple knew the Health Science Center was a special place where they wanted to be involved - even before they had ever stepped foot on the campus.
As they became more familiar with the Health Science Center, they decided that they wanted to help in a significant way, and they chose to make a bequest of a percentage of their residual estate. "We are so impressed with the Health Science Center and everyone there. Their service area of South Texas is probably the neediest in the State," Will said.
The couple has structured their gift to be as flexible as possible because they wanted it to stand the test of time. Will said, "the university's needs today most likely won't be the needs 10 years from now." So, the couple decided that their gift will create three endowments to support general areas of interest. How the earnings will be specifically spent will be left up to the Health Science Center so that the most critical and immediate needs within each area can be addressed. The first two endowments will focus on cardiac research and faculty support.
The bulk of their gift will create their third endowment to support financial aid for students across the five schools of the university. "An education is something that no one can ever take away from you. In this global economy kids are falling behind in education, so we need to do something to catch up," Beverly said, "Our goal is to help students realize their dreams. Our hope is that they will in turn be the ones who will be giving back in the future."
When asked what message they would like to send to others who may be considering including the Health Science Center in their estate plans, Will said "Every gift, no matter the size, is important and has an impact. Now is the time to make that gift that you have been considering. They (the Health Science Center) have the professional people there to help you turn your ideas and dreams into reality."
The O'Haras are helping the Health Science Center to make lives better and are creating a future of promise. They shared one of their favorite quotes by Chuck Palahniuk that embodies their commitment and philosophy. "The goal in life is not to live forever. The goal is to create something that will."