When Hamilton kicked off the 175th Anniversary Campaign in 1983, Elizabeth McCormack made a $3,000 pledge. Many gifts and several capital campaigns later, she continues her commitment to the College. In 2005, she pledged $1 million to the Excelsior Campaign and fulfilled that commitment by completing two charitable gift annuities.
Commenting on a major advantage of making a planned gift, Elizabeth McCormack said, "Completing my charitable gift annuity allowed me to make the contribution during my lifetime." In fact, accelerating a bequest is a planned gift strategy that many donors employ. It gives donors the opportunity to enjoy their philanthropy during their lifetimes. As she reflected, "The best part was the joy I experienced when I invested in something I believe in — Hamilton."
An alumna, and former philosophy teacher, dean and president of Manhattanville College, she earned a master's degree from Providence College and a doctorate from Fordham University as well as many honorary degrees, including one from Hamilton. Elizabeth McCormack began her association with Hamilton in 1978 having previously served on the board of trustees of Kirkland College. As a young nun, she taught at and was later headmistress of the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. After leaving the Order of the Sacred Heart, she becamea philanthropic and educational advisor to the Rockefeller family and was chair of the Asian Cultural Council. Having served on numerous corporate boards, she used matching gifts from those organizations to supplement her own gifts to Hamilton. Her marriage to the late Jerome "Jerry" Aron completed her life in many ways.
A 2004 article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy quoted Elizabeth McCormack, "To use your money to make a difference is something one has to learn. You have to think broadly, and in my opinion, give narrowly." She has supported many causes at Hamilton including scholarships, professorships and the arts — the ultimate purpose for her gift annuities — and the Annual Fund.