In the heat of a summer day, you might find relief and a moment of solitude in the gardens tucked behind the pavilions of the Lawn. The University of Virginia’s pavilion gardens—envisioned by Thomas Jefferson and restored by the Garden Club of Virginia in the 1950s and ’60s—are now public spaces maintained by the University and used daily by members of the UVA and Charlottesville communities, as well as visitors to Grounds. This summer, the gardens have been the site of Reunions receptions, a Historic Landscape Institute tour, engagement photo sessions, weddings, and a t’ai chi class.
Gifts to the University’s Historic Gardens and Grounds endowment provide for the upkeep of the pavilion gardens’ many trees, flowers, pathways, and serpentine walls. Gary Singer (McIntire ’69) and Susie Singer help ensure that the gardens will flourish well into future summers by designating a portion of their planned gift to the gardens’ care. Their gift was made in conjunction with Gary Singer’s 50th reunion year, and the Singers toured both the pavilion gardens and the gardens of Monticello during Reunions weekend. “Our gift to the Historic Gardens and Grounds endowment was inspired by our appreciation for Jefferson’s remarkable University garden designs and for his profound understanding of horticultural science,” said Gary Singer. “Jefferson’s designs are currently implemented at our 18th-century property in Connecticut.”
The McIntire School of Commerce will also benefit from the Singers’ generosity. Gary reflected on the impact of his experience as a student: “The mentorship and direction provided by the McIntire School—especially Professor William O’Dell—significantly impacted my career successes and gave me an appreciation of the value of quality educational opportunities for all and the importance of contributing back.” Their gift is in memory of Professor O’Dell (1909-2009) and is designated for the Centennial Fund for Faculty Excellence, which helps the school to recruit and retain the finest instructors and researchers.
The Singers' gift was made through their charitable remainder unitrust, a financial arrangement that allows them to receive regular income now and provide future support to UVA. “A charitable remainder unitrust was the most beneficial way for us to execute our charitable giving to the University while retaining the financial benefits of a lifetime of income,” explained Gary.
For more information on charitable remainder unitrusts and other ways to give that honor your family’s philanthropic and financial goals, contact Heather Engel, associate vice president, Gift Planning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-688-9882.