Leaving a Legacy While Helping Others
To The Honorable Deborah Paxson '75, the opportunity to leave a legacy at Virginia Wesleyan College is just as important as helping others graduate from her alma mater. Deborah graduated from VWC in 1975 and was very pleased with the liberal arts education she received. She loved how small the school was and felt that "the College's smaller student population allows the faculty to give students more individual attention." She credits the professors at VWC for "teaching me to think critically, to communicate lucidly and to pursue learning always."
After completing her graduate degree at the University of Vermont, Deborah went on to the University of Virginia's School of Law, but only with the help of former VWC president, Dr. Lambuth Clarke, who agreed to write one of her recommendations for the program. Although she knew that his writing skills were superior, what convinced her to ask him to aid her was his true concern for the students at VWC and their future endeavors. Dr. Clarke was equally thrilled when Deborah found out she had been accepted to UVa's School of Law. Deborah says, "I'll never forget his kindness, generosity and consideration both when I was a student at VWC and many years later when I needed help. My husband still tells people this story about Dr. Clarke." Today, The Honorable Deborah Paxson '75 serves as a Judge in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Virginia Beach.
While addressing their estate plans, Deborah and her husband decided to make VWC a beneficiary in their wills. "We felt that a legacy contribution to VWC would have a greater impact than a contribution to a university with a larger alumni base and larger endowment," says Deborah. "My husband also tells me that [Dr. Clarke's recommendation] is one of the reasons he felt compelled to make this legacy contribution."
By making an investment in education at VWC, they both know that their gift will impact not only the recipient, but their community. "I'm seeing later generations of graduates making substantial contributions to our community," Deborah recalls. "It is important that the College produce not just good doctors, lawyers, teachers, and bankers, but also good people." Virginia Wesleyan is able to accomplish this because "it has a spiritual as well as an academic vision. Such a dual vision encourages young people to become good citizens, good workers, good parents, good friends and good role models."
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