Empowering Students Interested in Public Health

Mary Sullivan turns to blended giving to support future public health experts.

Mary Sullivan

Mary Sullivan

Three years ago, Mary Sullivan visited her alma mater—the UAB School of Public Health. It had been nearly 30 years since she graduated with her M.P.H., and she found that the school, university, and city of Birmingham had progressed significantly in her time away.

“I was so impressed,” recalls Mary, now executive director of regulatory affairs at Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharma Inc. “I couldn’t believe how much the campus had changed—how much has been added. I could see money was being put to good use and that resources were being used for the development of students and continued growth and expansion.”

Her visit inspired a renewed connection with UAB that ultimately led to Mary, who lives in Newtown, Connecticut, to establish a lasting legacy with the School of Public Health.

By blending two different types of gifts, Mary established the Margaret Sullivan Endowed Scholarship in the School of Public Health. She is giving an outright recurring annual gift and has also named UAB a beneficiary of her retirement plan.

The award, which will go to a student with financial need, is named after Mary’s mother, who died from lung cancer in 1985, two years before Mary earned her M.P.H.

“My mother always encouraged my education,” she says. “I want to honor her. She was a very important influence in my life.”

Mary Sullivan and her mother

Mary Sullivan and her mother

A blended gift, which combines two types of giving, was the ideal approach, Mary says. Her ultimate goal was to endow the scholarship so it would continue in perpetuity. However, she also wanted to enjoy seeing her investment in action now. To accomplish these two objectives, Mary made an annual recurring pledge so that the Margaret Sullivan Scholarship could be awarded immediately. Then, with her planned gift, she will enhance her impact by transitioning the scholarship into an endowment, ensuring that her efforts will endure for years to come.

“By giving this way, I know this is something that will continue long into the future,” she adds. Mary hopes the scholarship will let students—who otherwise might not be able to afford it— pursue an M.P.H.

Make a difference in the lives of students in need, like Mary did, by making a future gift to UAB. Contact the Office of Planned Giving at (205) 996-7533 or plannedgiving@uab.edu to learn how.


Kimberley S. Coppock, J.D.
Sr. Director of Development
Office of Planned Giving
(205) 975-5970

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