The Legacy of Vance’s Way

The double value of charitable gift annuities

The double value of charitable gift annuities

Speaking of her late husband, Vance Savage, professor emeritus of Spanish and groundbreaking leader of international education, Jill Nichols says, “When he got interested in something, he got deeply interested. That was Vance’s way.

We both enjoyed riding horses, for example, but he was really keen on understanding what makes them tick. How do they learn? What’s the best way to train them?”

Reflecting a moment, she adds, “It was the same with teaching. He believed his students learned languages best by knowing the social history of the people and experiencing how they lived day-to-day.”

Vance’s way focused on getting beyond the surface to the core, working to discover the story behind the story. That’s how he learned while growing up the youngest of nine children in the eastern Oregon town of Ontario during the Great Depression. Many of his friends were from Mexico and Japan, and he loved having them teach him not just their language but also their way of life—their culture, history, and social practices.

He brought that ethic to Lewis & Clark in 1969, and it shaped his impact on generations of students. He retired in 1996, a beloved professor and highly respected academic administrator who was a leader in designing and developing international programs and exchanges in more than 20 countries.

In October 2013, Vance and Jill established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that provides a steady stream of income for life and designates that the remainder will support a scholarship for students studying abroad. The Dr. Vance Savage and Ms. Jill Nichols Fund for Overseas Study will benefit students of financial need who might not otherwise be able to participate in an overseas study program.

Vance died in August 2015, and Jill recently established another CGA. “I wanted to honor Vance, and this annuity allows me to blend my charitable intent with my need to manage my money and receive a guaranteed income,” she says. “CGAs make great sense for some people, and I encourage professors and others at Lewis & Clark to consider charitable gift annuities.”

Registrar Emeritus Dell Smith, a longtime friend and colleague, has said, “Vance built a solid foundation on which today’s overseas study program rests. The number of faculty and students who have been positively influenced by his work is far greater than anyone realizes.”

Call that another legacy of Vance’s way.