Olga Cielnicky Leone wanted to be an elementary school teacher. When she began her search for the right college, she sent letters to institutions across New York State, knowing that she came from an immigrant family of modest means and would have to work part time to support her dream. Over time, responses from 11 state schools made their way back to her mailbox.
One particular response stood out from the group. Friendly, personal and understanding of her situation, administrators at Fredonia expressed their hope that Olga would attend their school. She decided that Fredonia was, in fact, right for her. Although she didn't know much about the State University system at the time, she was truly grateful that she ended up at Fredonia. She went on to have a memorable experience at college before she graduated with her degree in elementary education.
That was 1947. Over the next 58 years, Olga enjoyed her career as a fourth grade teacher, writer and art instructor, but she never forgot her days at the old Fredonia State Teachers' College.
"It was the place to be if you were going to be a teacher," reflected Olga, who toured the Fredonia campus this past summer. "My teaching experience after graduation was most rewarding because of the solid preparation. The emphasis was not on facts but on people, on how children learn and think."
Olga marveled how the Fredonia campus has grown since her undergraduate years, but she still wants to make sure other students have the same sort of memories she has of her own college days. Although Olga had originally planned to leave her entire estate to her children, she felt that making a charitable gift to help continue the admirable work of her alma mater was a good example for them. Because she wants the dreams of young teachers to keep coming true, Olga has established a charitable gift annuity at Fredonia.
"It is my pleasure to be making this gift," Olga said. "I wish to take part, in some measure, in the continuing admirable endeavors of Fredonia."
A charitable gift annuity allows an individual like Olga to make a sizable donation to Fredonia that will be invested through the Fredonia College Foundation. Olga will receive a quarterly income from the annuity, which was an important factor in her decision to choose an annuity as a vehicle for her gift. In addition to fulfilling her desire to have a lasting relationship with Fredonia, it also allowed her to make a significant donation and receive needed return.
Olga's gift has been earmarked for the needs of Fredonia's students- an appropriate gesture for a woman who has spent her life supporting the educational needs of others.
"The older I get, the more I realize how lucky I was to have attended Fredonia," said Olga. "I think its basic values are still intact, and I feel compelled to share some of whatever I do have with Fredonia."
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance. A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available from the Charities Registry on the New York State Attorney General’s website (www.charitiesnys.com) or, upon request, by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005, or us at Fredonia, NY. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at www.charitiesnys.com or (212) 416-8401.