Gift Planning - Meet Our Donors

Arthur and Jenny Chase

Arthur and JennyIt was the fall of 1958, and upperclassman Burt Chase volunteered to help register new students on campus.  “I was in the Field House manning a preregistration station -- I figured it would be a good way to check out the freshman girls!” explained Burt.  “This is how I met Jenny Wishing Haas – I was intrigued by her name, and after she signed in, I started following her around campus.  I tried to cross paths with her as much as I could – sometimes it took a lot of planning.”

  From Jenny’s point of view, it seemed very casual.  “He would ask me if I was planning to go to the Freshman Dance, explaining that most freshmen usually attended, so I would tell him that I would go. Little did I know what he was doing at the time!”

And so began their lives as Double Dels. Burt began studying Chemical Engineering at Delaware, and then switched to Civil Engineering, then to math.  Still not happy with his course of study, Burt then tried Economics, and there he met Professor Charles Lanier.  “Dr. Lanier was a big factor in my education at Delaware.   He gave me a lot of attention and really helped to point me in the right direction so I could get my degree.  That’s why the Charles Lanier Scholarship Fund means a lot to me.  I began to contribute to that fund as soon as I was able to, to show my thanks for what he had done for me.”

Burt and Jenny weren’t the first members of the Chase family to attend Delaware.  Burt’s dad, Gilbert was a 1933 graduate of the College of Engineering, and was a proud and enthusiastic alumnus.  “Dad was a big Blue Hen football fan – he always had great 50-yard line seats, so Jenny and I would join him for many games.  Dad felt a special bond with Delaware, and he started the Chase Family Scholarship.  Once I graduated, I became involved with the scholarship, too.  When Dad died, my mother and I decided to change the name to the Gilbert E. Chase Family Scholarship in his memory.” 

Jenny and Burt have met several of the recipients of both the Chase and Lanier scholarships.  Jenny explained, “When we meet these young people, they are very appreciative.  It’s not an easy thing for young people to express gratitude to people they’ve never met, but these students are very articulate, and we’ve been very impressed.”

“About 10 years ago we did some financial and estate planning, and we set up a CRUT (charitable remainder unitrust) and we’ve been receiving income from the trust each year.  We knew it would be good for us tax-wise, but we also wanted to do something for Delaware.  We’re not huge benefactors but it’s good to do whatever you can.  Giving back to Delaware is about the best charitable gift you can make,” said Burt.

 Jenny agreed, “We like to think it’s a good place to spend your money responsibly. President Harker is really good about including us and keeping us informed, and he’s always available to answer questions – it’s nice to live in a place where the University is such an important part of the community.”  Burt summed it all up this way,”We give to a lot of charities, but we feel that supporting scholarships and helping students at Delaware is really the best thing we could do with our money.”

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