Westmont Magazine Living a Legacy of Her Own
Iva Hillegas Schatz has a long history with Westmont. When she moved to Santa Barbara in 1966, her brother, Lyle Hillegas, was on faculty; he later became president. She joined the staff in 1988 and became director of planned giving in 1995. After 18 fruitful years, she retires in January 2006.
“Working with so many wonderful donors has been the highlight of my time at Westmont,” she says. “Helping people accomplish their goal of leaving a legacy to the college has been very satisfying.”
In 1993, Iva joined with John Watts, special assistant to the president, to establish the Wallace Emerson Society. This organization exists to honor people who make a provision for Westmont in their will or estate plan or create a named endowment.
“Wallace Emerson was the perfect example of someone who was committed to the college in vision and in substance,” Iva says. “He wanted Westmont to be the Harvard of the West and set the direction for the college. He also sold his car to pay faculty salaries. We see the same kind of commitment, concern for the future and sacrificial giving in many Wallace Emerson Society members.”
The society began with 250 charter members and has more than doubled to 578. Each year, the college thanks members at a special luncheon. Iva has attended and welcomed members all 12 years.
She is grateful for maturities from society members such as Kenneth and Peggy Monroe, Maureen Reyes and Robert and Margaret Swift. “These generous gifts have helped build the endowment,” she says.
Iva herself has made a provision for Westmont in her estate and belongs to the Wallace Emerson Society. “I believe in the vision and work of Westmont,” she says.
Her retirement plans include travel to Europe, lots of reading and continued involvement in her church, Trinity Episcopal. She also hopes to spend more time with her 1-year-old twin grandsons in New York.
For more information about the Wallace Emerson Society, call Nancy Christel in the Office of Gift Planning, (805) 565-6058 or (800) 998-5652.