A Planned Gift That Passes the Torch From One Generation to the Next
Susan Schlein 75C fell in love with Emory twice, first as an elementary education major in the early 70s, and then as the proud parent of Deborah Schlein 13C, who earned her bachelor’s in Middle Eastern and South Asian studies with a minor in Arabic at Emory.
“Where I’m from, every Saturday afternoon in the fall, everybody’s at the stadium screaming, ‘Rah-rah!’ That just wasn't my thing,” she recalls, “I wanted a school that emphasized academics.”
At Emory, she found her place.
“I had a wonderful experience at Emory,” she remembers, “Such dedicated professors.” She was especially fond of Wonderful Wednesdays, “Because there were no classes on Wednesday!” While she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education—her career goal since she was in third grade—her Emory adviser encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree in library science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she met her husband, Robert Schlein.
While he is not an alumnus, Robert’s passion for Emory—ignited as a parent—burns brightly. “Our daughter Deborah blossomed at Emory. Because of her amazing experience—the nurturing, caring, guidance she got from faculty and the lifelong friendships she made with her peers in four short years—we are committed to supporting Emory. As our children grew up, and we rewrote our wills, we considered where our money can make a difference. Emory was the most logical place for us.”
The Schleins made a planned gift to support scholarships so that life-changing opportunities remain accessible to deserving students. “We want to set an example and encourage other alumni and parents to think about making planned gifts like ours,” says Robert.
What most impresses the Schleins is the degree to which Emory prepares students to address life’s challenges. “I think there’s a huge value to a liberal arts education,” Susan says, “Emory prepares you to interact with people, to ask the right questions.”
Their daughter was accepted into the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton as a PhD candidate. Robert credits Emory with Deborah’s success, “She was always an excellent student, but it just went to the next level here.”
Even as the Schleins eschew football culture, they are de facto cheerleaders for Emory in Houston, deep in the heart of football territory, where they represent Emory at numerous college fairs and Susan serves as the co-chair of alumni interviewing. They also steward incoming freshmen accepted from the Houston area.
The Schleins witnessed the rising cost of education firsthand. “I put myself through college, and what I paid over four years to go to Emory, we paid in a single year for Deborah,” Susan laments.
“We feel it’s important to give other deserving students the opportunity to flourish,” she says. “When I graduated from Emory, I never thought I would have the kind of funds available to make a meaningful gift.”
“People don’t like to think about estate planning—it’s not something that you want to dwell on,” Susan continues, “But if you had the kind of experience I had at Emory, and that our daughter had here, you want to do everything you can to ensure that these experiences continue on.”
That’s the meaning of legacy.
Learn how you can make a difference by including Emory in your estate plan. It is easier than you think. Please call Emory Office of Gift Planning at 404.727.8875. For online resources, go to giftplanning.emory.edu.