Dr. Rose Berry just couldn’t leave well enough alone. She was already well-known throughout Little Rock and beyond as the woman who is passionate about educating youngsters. She is known for giving away thousands of books throughout the years to inspire readers. She has a reputation for encouraging her teacher education students to get kids “hooked on books.” But she just couldn’t stop there.
Now Rose, chair of the Department of Elementary and Early Childhood Education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for more than 20 years and recipient of the Donaghey Foundation’s first Outstanding Teacher Award in 1974, has endowed a scholarship for juniors and seniors in the university’s Teacher Education Program.
“My son encouraged me to do it and to give while I’m still living,” Rose says. “Doesn’t that make sense?” And although she has given out-of-pocket dollars as scholarship money to help deserving students since her early days in teaching, Rose wanted the pleasure of endowing a scholarship that will, in her words, “keep on.” “This way, I enjoy my legacy while I’m still living and see how it benefits the students.”
Not only does the gift help students in their university studies, but her generosity is a savvy investment tool. The charitable gift annuity she established to fund the scholarship into the future pays her annuity distributions during her lifetime. “I made the gift solely to benefit the students, yet now I have financial rewards coming back to me,” she says. “It’s wonderful to have a little spending money.”
Rose believes in people-especially in children and teacher education students who will introduce youngsters to the world through reading. “I taught thousands of students through the years and I meet them everywhere I go-church, garage sales, the drug store,” she says. “They tell me what a difference I made in their lives because I believed in them.” Creating a legacy that extends to future generations-isn’t that just like Rose?
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