Alumni Couple's Philanthropy Strategy Includes Planned Gift
Longevity is synonymous with the Ferman brand in Tampa, where the Ferman Motor Car Company is the oldest continually operated family dealership in the United States, dating to 1895. CEO and President James L. Ferman Jr. 65B, grandson of the company founder, followed his father’s footsteps to Emory. As an undergraduate, Jim Ferman met his wife, Cecelia Davis Ferman 65C.
The Fermans take a long view of service and philanthropy as well. Their planned gift to Emory reflects their holistic strategy of supporting an institution that shaped them personally and instilled knowledge that has helped them achieve business success. For decades, the Fermans’ deepest connection to Emory came from their friendship with former Emory Dean of Campus Life William H. “Bill” Fox Jr. and his wife Carol Lewis Fox.
“Balance is important to us,” Jim Ferman says. “Our relationship with Emory has been very close and we have a lot of good memories associated with Emory. We believe that if you’re going to support an institution, you ought to do it through annual giving, capital gifts during a campaign and by providing sustaining resources through an estate gift. Our planned gift is a balanced way to continue our support for Emory.”
The university recognized the Fermans’ consistent and generous service with the 1999 Emory Medal, the university’s highest award. The Fermans have been significant supporters of Emory College, where they fund the Cecelia Ferman Endowed Scholarship, and the Goizueta School of Business.
Jim Ferman currently serves on the Emory Board of Trustees and provides similar leadership in his home state as a fourth-generation resident of Tampa. By serving on—and sometimes chairing—the boards of University of Tampa, Florida Southern College, and Emory, he has about 90 years of experience as a college trustee.
“I’ve absorbed the mission of philanthropy in higher education,” he says. “From this broad education, I know that part of the mission is fulfilled through planned giving.”