Gift Annuities – Best of Both Worlds 

Jamie and Michael Hartshorn Photo Credit: Renée C. Byer 

Jamie Hartshorn and husband, Michael Damer.
Photo Credit: Renée C. Byer

When Jamie Hartshorn left her “one-horse town” in California for Eugene at the age of 17, she anticipated a big adventure.

“Most of my high school classmates either didn’t go on to college or stayed closer to home. It was exciting to be going to school relatively far away.”

With a cousin in nearby Springfield, Hartshorn was initially comforted having family close-by, but then her cousin moved. Luckily, Hartshorn found guidance in the “grandfatherly presence” of her professor and advisor, Charles Duncan.

“His office served as an oasis, a safe place where I could sit and talk to a wise adult who was willing to spend all the time I needed to help me figure out my academic path,” she recalled.

A reporter, writer, and teacher, Duncan was known for making sure future journalists had the education they needed to succeed. His investment in Hartshorn paid off—she graduated in three years and after serving a magazine internship in NYC, has spent her career in writing and graphic design.

“I had generous parents who paid for my education,” she explains, “my dad was a postmaster and my mom a school teacher. There was never any question that I would attend college.” Hartshorn wants to help other students have similar opportunities, a passion that she shares with her husband, Michael Damer, a graduate of University of San Francisco, and University of Arizona.

“We’re now in the ‘give back phase of life,’” explained Damer. “We feel so fortunate and so much gratitude for those that helped us that we want to give back.” The couple, who live on acreage in the Sierra Nevada foothills, chose to fund charitable gift annuities for their philanthropy. “Annuities have the benefit of a revenue stream,” Damer continued. “It’s the best of both worlds.”

The gift planning team at the UO helped Hartshorn earmark her gifts specifically for the School of Journalism in honor of Charles Duncan. Turns out she was the perfect student to help carry on Duncan’s life work to influence students for years to come.

—By Lisa MacMaster

To learn more about Charles Duncan, visit the School of Journalism and Communication

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