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Winter 2012

Pass It On

Photo of Dick and Meg with their son in 1962Growing up in the rural town of Chazy in upstate New York, less than 10 miles from the Canadian border, Richard “Dick” Dodds, M.A.T.’62, relied on financial help to pursue his educational goals — an academic route that eventually led to the Ed School and, later, to a sabbatical at Oxford.

“I was a scholarship guy all the way through,” he says, which is why he and his wife, Meg, decided to set up a planned charitable gift annuity to benefit student fellowships.

During her husband’s time at the Ed School, Meg worked in the university’s development office, and now she fondly recalls museum visits and spending days riverside with their new baby.

“We know how wonderful it is to have a scholarship to a very good college,” she says, “and it’s nice to pass it on.”

In making this type of a gift, the Dodds will receive steady, guaranteed lifetime payments from the annuity — a tax-advantaged way to provide income during their retirement as well as to support the school’s mission.

“I had a tremendous time at Harvard with people who were interested in ideas and who were doing a lot of good research,” Dick says. “I would like to see that continue.”

Eventually, Dick taught English at Mt. Greylock High School in Williamstown, Mass., for 36 years, where he also directed and acted in school plays, and advised the literary and graphic arts magazine. Meg notes that Dick became the first English teacher at Mt. Greylock to have his name placed on the school’s Hall of Honor.

“Although he went to Harvard and Oxford, we grew up in the country,” she says, explaining why she was so proud when he was given the honor. “So he was able to teach students from all walks of life.”

“Public education is in my blood,” Dick says. “Both of my parents were teachers for about 35 years.” The family’s passion for education continues with the Dodds’ son, Richard Jr., Ed.M.’85, who works as a data warehouse developer at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

In establishing their legacy at the school, the Dodds are now members of the Paul Hanus Society.

“We both love children of all ages, and we love to help them,” Meg says of their decision to put their money into the annuity. “These are very unusual times that we are living in now, so we feel a little more comfortable knowing that we have invested in Harvard — something that will be solid in the future.”