Student Need, Alumni Ties Motivate the McLartys’ Planned Gift
For students to walk across the commencement stage and receive diplomas, many must first cross financial thresholds. Paul McLarty 63C 66L and his wife Ruth McLarty have made a planned gift to Emory College and Emory Law School to ensure more financial aid to students with demonstrated need.
“Student aid is something Emory has to take care of to be competitive as a private university and to deliver the type of education that it does,” said Paul McLarty, retired senior partner of McLarty, Robinson & Van Voorhies and recipient of the 2015 Emory Medal, the university’s highest honor.
“Through the Emory interns at my law office, students I have met through the ATO [Alpha Tau Omega] fraternity chapter at Emory, and others in the Emory student alumni association, I have gained an awareness of the financial stress and the debt that can become their primary focus. I’ve seen students who have left Emory after a year to return home to their state university because the tuition is 20 percent of Emory’s. I’ve seen them get accepted to Emory Law and choose to go to the University of Georgia or a state school instead. These are really good kids that you want to watch go across the stage at commencement.”
The McLartys’ planned gift will help fund need-based scholarships, which they expect will spur students to greater academic achievement. They have seen this happen with a scholarship they helped establish in partnership with the Dobbs Foundation. It is an endowed scholarship for ATO members who demonstrate need and meet academic standards, and each semester distributes almost $10,000 to those who qualify. The scholarship helped Emory ATO be named the top chapter in the nation three times.
“It made a big difference in our recruiting members to ATO and for them to make sure because they know all sorts of academic criteria and attendance must be checked off for them to qualify,” Paul McLarty says. “I have enjoyed getting to know those students,” his wife adds.
In the law school, the McLartys hope the scholarship funded through their planned gift will benefit an Emory College graduate. That was Paul McLarty’s path, and the double degrees inspired him to stay connected and serve as past president of the Emory Alumni Board.
“I really would like to build alumni relationships. If a student becomes a ‘double eagle,’ they have an even better Emory experience and a solid relationship with Emory. In my early years after graduating and building my law practice and raising my family, I started early getting engaged in alumni events. There weren’t many and Emory didn’t have much of a budget for it. As I got older, I got more involved and became more drawn into student life through my fraternity. For alumni, loyalty is a process, and from it develops the philosophy of where you want your time, effort and resources to go.”