A Gift of Gratitude
Howard Hodel ’75 recalls an experience his freshman year that changed his life. “I came to Dartmouth passionate about economics and computer science,” says Hodel, “yet it was the time I spent with my English professor, Samuel Pickering, that had a huge effect on me.
“He and I would sit down twice a week for my freshman English seminar. He asked me to write out paragraphs for him, and took the extra time to really help me with my writing. It opened my eyes to lots of new possibilities for what I could do with my life.”
Howard grew up on a farm in a small town in central Illinois. His father left school at age 13 to work on their family farm and Howard was the first in his family to go to college. “My decision to attend Dartmouth inspired my family,” says Howard, “because both my mother, a schoolteacher, and my brother decided to enroll in college, too.” All three received their baccalaureate degrees in 1975.
“Dartmouth just did a great job preparing me for business school,” says Howard. “It gave me skills that have helped me throughout my career, particularly writing, and a solid background in statistical analysis and computer programming.” Howard earned his MBA at Chicago Booth School of Business. Despite the strenuous course load, he graduated near the top of his class. “I did well at Chicago because of the incredible teaching at Dartmouth,” he says.
Giving back to Dartmouth has been a longtime priority to both Howard and his wife, Patty. Together they have spent many years supporting different areas of the College, from annual gifts to the Dartmouth College Fund to special giving initiatives across campus.
Recently, they decided they wanted to make a larger, more sustaining gift to Dartmouth for long-term impact, so they invested in a Dartmouth Donor Advised Fund (DDAF).
Dartmouth Donor Advised Fund
A DDAF works much like a private foundation. It is managed alongside Dartmouth’s endowment. A minimum of five percent is distributed each year to support areas of the College a donor is interested in, as well as to outside charities important to the donor.
The Hodels distribute funds every year to support Dartmouth financial aid and student life. The DDAF also helps support their work with Heart for Africa. Through this charity they have built an orphanage for newborns in Swaziland.
“We’re able to time our charitable distributions to meet our own schedule,” says Patty. “This is important because we’re beginning to include our children, William ’15 and Lindsay ’19, in our philanthropic decisions for the College.”
“Also, with its solid rate of return, we’re confident our DDAF will support vital programs at Dartmouth well into the future,” Patty adds.
“Everyone has been helped along the way by someone or some institution,” says Howard. “Dartmouth just happened to be, in my life, the biggest one that transformed me. Giving back means a lot to us, to help other students benefit from the same kinds of learning experiences that I had.”
The Dartmouth Donor Advised Fund helps you concentrate your philanthropy in one place—to support those areas of Dartmouth and outside charities you care about most.—Patricia Chan and Howard Hodel ’75