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A Gift that Benefits Many

A Gift that Benefits Many
Earlene Voigt and her Friend

Earlene Voigt is a native of the Metro East, but it took her nearly a lifetime to become acquainted with McKendree University. Just five years ago, a good friend of Earlene's asked if she would accompany her to the William McKendree Society Spring Dinner. Earlene happily accepted the invitation and quickly became a regular fixture at McKendree as a member of the William McKendree Society and a Friend of the Hettenhausen Center for the Arts.

Earlene was born in East St. Louis and remained there until her marriage. She has fond memories of visiting Lebanon while she was in high school to swim with friends at the pool at Locust Hills Country Club. After high school, Earlene attended Miss Hickey's Secretarial School and worked for Price Waterhouse & Co. until she and her husband Clarence married in 1965. They made their home in Belleville where they raised their daughter.

Always known as a "joiner," Earlene has been involved with many clubs and organizations in addition to those at McKendree including two that are now over 100 years old: The Excelsior Club and The Thursday Literary Club. Additionally, she is a 48-year member of the chapter EY of the P.E.O. Sisterhood and has been a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Belleville for over 50 years, including serving as an Elder and participating in the Lamplighters Circle.

On May 7, 2016, Earlene, with her friend who had introduced her to McKendree by her side, celebrated the public launch of Forward: The Campaign for McKendree University with over 200 members of the McKendree community. Impressed by the vision outlined at the event and having witnessed the need herself, she decided to support the renovation and addition to Voigt Science Hall.

Earlene wanted to ensure she was able to make a gift in a way that was beneficial to the University as well as her own financial well-being. For Earlene, that meant making her gift directly from her individual retirement account (IRA), an option that allowed her to support the University, meet the required minimum withdrawal and take advantage of tax benefits. Although she is not related to former McKendree President Edwin Voigt, the namesake of Voigt Science Hall, Earlene gets the added joy of knowing her gifts help support a building with her last name on it!