Planned Giving

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The Power of Annuities

The Power of Annuities

For Vada da Silva, growing up in rural West Virginia during the Great Depression meant struggle and sacrifice. At the age of 19, she ventured to California, with only a few coins in her pocket, hoping for a better way of life. "There was nothing in West Virginia," she said. "I was working at a little restaurant in Charleston, making $20 a week, and I was happy to even have that. So, I went to California, looking for opportunity."


The bold move landed her at a job at a paper company in Southern California. She worked hard and, over the years, her tenacity paid off, propelling her from the factory floor to the head of sales. Her professional journey also led her to coworker and UD grad Edmund da Silva. When they met, Vada was married, so the two were merely friends and remained so for decades.


Edmund was also no stranger to struggle. Born in Japan to an affluent family, he saw all of that slip away during World War II. He and much of his family fled to the mountains before the atomic bombs hit the country, but could see the mushroom clouds in the sky. They lived in the mountains for two years, scavenging to survive.


After the war, Edmund traveled to New York, connecting with a cousin who was a Marianist priest. The Marianist connection brought Edmund to the University of Dayton, where he graduated with an accounting degree in 1956. From there, he made his way to California-to the paper factory, a successful career in accounting-and his future wife.


In 2007, after a nine year battle with cancer, Vada's first husband Lowell passed away, and she found comfort in her old friend, Edmund. The friendship blossomed into a trip down the aisle, the first one for Edmund, who upon her acceptance of his proposal couldn't contain his long-standing affection for Vada, saying, "Good. I've been waiting a long time."


During their marriage, Edmund introduced Vada to the University of Dayton community, and Vada began to share his affinity for the University. The couple even went on a "honeymoon" in 2008 to China with Dr. Curran and other University alumni.


Edmund and Vada enjoyed over seven years of blissful marriage, living in Vada's hometown in West Virginia, until Edmund's unexpected passing in 2014. Vada has made it a point to honor Edmund's legacy and to further a cause that was so dear to him-and is now dear to her as well-providing learning and leadership opportunities to future students at the University of Dayton in the School of Business Administration.


"Both Edmund and I had a hard time when we were younger, so we always wanted to help students avoid those kinds of struggles," Vada said. She has followed Edmund's lead by setting up a charitable gift annuity (CGA) with the University, as he did many years ago.


As with all CGAs, Vada's CGA provides her with a guaranteed lifetime fixed income stream, in exchange for her gift to the University, and buffers her tax liability. "It's great for both parties. I get money back as long as I live, and I know that what's left is going to be put to good use at the University." Vada joins a growing number in the Flyer family who support the University through CGAs-ensuring a bright future for University students and taking advantage of the donor benefits built into this type of gift. This philanthropic group of donors is responsible for 46 active CGAs at the University, valued over $4 million.


Such generosity is paramount to the University's forward momentum-and helps open the University's doors to deserving students, making their road to success smoother, just as Vada and her beloved Edmund intended.


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