Planned Giving

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Successful University Alum Gives Back in a Big Way

Successful University Alum Gives Back in a Big Way

Phil Warth '69 looks at life as an adventure. This attitude has served him well, allowing him to take risks and embrace opportunities for success as a business owner and entrepreneur.

His journey began here at UD, with a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education, and continued at Ohio State, with a graduate degree in City and Regional Planning. His career took off in Greenville, South Carolina, where he served as a city planner and founding director of the Greenville County Housing & Redevelopment Authority. He then moved onto Chicago, where he became President of the Second Harvest National Food Bank Network (now Feeding America) and President and CEO of First Nonprofit Insurance Company. He has invested in numerous entrepreneurial ventures and received accolades for his accomplishments, including induction into the University of Illinois at Chicago's Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2002.

Phil notes how UD prepared him for such success. "As I reflect on my time here, the University really helped me develop critical thinking, which is something that I value greatly. I think it's a necessary component of getting to the truth of things."

Over the years, Phil and his wife Cynthia have been avid supporters of the University, donating to several funds and initiatives, including the Lalanne Endowment, the Olsen Athletics Performance Center, and the establishment of the Donald Smith Scholarship in 2004. And this generosity is now culminating with the establishment of a generous charitable trust.

Through this trust, Phil plans to impact how students view the world-and their role in it. He hopes to promote critical thinking for evaluating public problems and policies. He also wants to expand geopolitical studies, enabling students to better understand people who live in other parts of the world and to realize the effect of this understanding on politics. Phil explains, "I think understanding one another makes people less likely to support the notion of war and makes governments less likely to explore that. If you know your neighbor, you want to be friends. To not know them is to misunderstand them."

Phil and Cynthia would also like the gift to affect students' lives on campus, assisting with renovations of the heart of campus: Kennedy Union. "It's THE gathering place on campus, and it's important for it to be comfortable and desirable."

When asked why he chose a charitable trust to set up these initiatives, Phil said, "It gives me a chance to define my outcome before my own passing. It allows me to accelerate the enjoyment of my own gift…I feel a real sense of satisfaction having done it."

Phil and Cynthia's generosity and thoughtful initiatives are just one more example of UD alumni giving back in a big way-making a lasting impact on the next generation of students.


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