Dan and Kathy MilliganBeyond their own lifetimes, individuals can make a lasting impact on the lives of UD students through the simple act of naming the University of Dallas in their wills or trusts, or as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan assets.

Known as planned gifts, donations such as these provide a way for donors to make the “gift of a lifetime” and ensure that beloved programs at UD are made available to the next generation. Planned gifts have an enormous impact on the future of UD; gifts from grateful alumni, parents, faculty, staff and friends leave a powerful legacy and collectively may provide as much as 30% of annual philanthropic support given to institutions like UD.

Like lifetime giving, a planned gift can be established to remember a loved one who cared deeply about the university or recognize a specific person or program that had a particularly important impact on your life.

For Legacy Society members Dan Milligan, BA ’91, and Kathy Milligan, BA ’91 MBA ’95, their planned gift to UD will honor Kathy’s father, Charles T. Uhl, who had served UD’s IT Department and passed away after battling Alzheimer’s, and also will recognize their shared love for the Rome Program, which transformed their own lives.

What inspired you to give back to the university?

Dan: For both of us, Rome had such a big impact on our lives. The Rome experience shaped us to be who we are now. I know that my life, my entire outlook on the world, even my friends, would have been different [without Rome]. It was so transformative that we wanted to be able to give others that same opportunity.

Kathy: When my father could no longer work at UD due to his illness, then-president Monsignor Milam Joseph was particularly generous in extending my dad’s tuition benefits to some of my siblings at UD. My experience has always been that UD has a big heart … bigger than the endowment or budget! I knew then, very specifically, that I wanted to help grow UD’s endowment with whatever means I had.

Looking back, was there a specific event at UD that was particularly transformational?

Dan: Rome, of course, as it is for probably for most everyone who goes. But also, just being the first in my family to go to college, I know it was a real sacrifice for my parents to send me to UD.

Honestly, it was divine intervention or fate that I stumbled into going to UD. I had always thought that college was just something you did to get a degree and get a good job. I had always enjoyed education, but I didn’t really know that you could love knowledge the way UD teaches you to, to love learning and develop critical thinking skills. Rome taught me that knowledge is an end in and of itself, and not just a means to an end.

Kathy: I always get a kick out of telling people I found UD from Seventeen magazine … which I'd been strictly forbidden from reading by my parents. UD was No. 1 or No. 2 on the list of ‘Best Colleges If You Want to Travel Abroad’ or something like that. I’d love to find that blurb. Anyway, I gained so much independence and self-confidence just from navigating Europe on a very limited budget!

What do you wish more people knew about UD?

Dan: I wish more people here in Texas knew that you don't have to go out of state to go to this amazing university and get this amazing education — it’s all right here in our own backyard.

What would you tell others who might be considering a planned gift?

Dan: Consider the impact that UD had on you. If it had as large of an impact on you as it did on us, how could you not do it? It seems like a no-brainer to be generous to the place that gave you so much.

Kathy: It’s so easy! You don’t have to rewrite wills or trusts if you don’t want to … you can make a big impact just by changing the primary or secondary beneficiary on a retirement account or a life insurance policy.

All planned gift donors to UD are invited to join our newly relaunched Legacy Society, formerly known as the Due Santi Society. To notify the university of your planned gift intention or learn more about the easy options available to leave a lasting legacy at UD, please contact Sarah Sokora at 972-721-5131 or sdsokora@udallas.edu.