Don and Miriam DeJongh Name Hope as Retirement Fund Beneficiary
For Don '59 and Miriam (Klaaren '60) DeJongh of Palo Alto, Calif., Hope College represents their backyard and the world. Both of their families come from western Michigan, and their parents attended Hope in the first decades of the 20th century. Miriam's parents' post retirement home on 14th Street is now Hope's Klaaren Cottage. Miriam always knew she would follow her parents and sister to Hope, and Don was particularly attracted by Hope's reputation for excellence in chemistry.
"Our lives at Hope revolved around classes and campus activities," Miriam recalls. "We always appreciated the high-quality education we were receiving in the context of a Christian environment." The Vienna Summer School program broadened their horizons on the world and gave them a lifelong passion for travel and adventure. Both are now retired-Don from university-level teaching and environmental analysis training, and Miriam from writing and publishing. The DeJonghs now travel as disaster relief volunteers with the American Red Cross.
Yet, with all their interests and pursuits, they fondly remember their alma mater. The DeJonghs have contributed to the Hope Fund since graduating, and their son Matthew's presence at Hope on the computer science faculty has renewed family ties to the college and provided them with an impetus for continued support.
"When we reviewed our will and trust, our estate planning attorney recommended beneficiary designation of retirement funds as a means to optimize the value of our philanthropic gifts," Don shares. "We love the outdoors and the arts, have long given time and resources to protect the environment, and support initiatives that fight poverty and injustice. Hope College is so much part of our background and has played such an integral role in our cultural, religious and family heritage that we cannot imagine doing other than including Hope in our estate plans."
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