Why I give to the UO

By Carol Johnson Yetter

Richard and Carol Yetter Photo courtesy of Carol Yetter

Richard and Carol Yetter
Photo courtesy of Carol Yetter

I give to the UO from many reasons, all of which are quite personal. 

First-hand experience

I was raised by my mother and grandmother, both widows. They were paid by the hour, with neither retirement plan nor health insurance. When my grandmother broke her arm, she set it herself. We had no car until I was in junior high.

If not for the War Orphans’ Educational Assistance Fund, I would not have been able to attend college. Even so, the monthly stipend was not enough to cover the entire cost of a college education. 

The day I turned 16, I went to work at a fashion shop for 75 cents an hour. I was fortunate to be employed every summer, fall, winter, and spring break through the summer after I graduated from the UO. 

I needed my job to pay for college expenses. The meager income I earned would not have allowed me to take advantage of unpaid experiences such as internships, off-campus study, or travel. 

I hope that my gift to endow the CAS Hands-On Learning Fund will afford students in need the opportunity to achieve any or all of those. 

The love of my life

“It is here we met and here we will always be.” That sentiment (See article by Karen J. Vanderyt, Summer 2020 Oregon Quarterly) might have been written for all of us who met the love of our life at the UO. It is reason enough for me to leave a legacy, in both our names, to the university. 

Coincidentally, the article was in the same issue as the “In Memoriam” section that honored my husband Richard’s life. The sweet and the bittersweet, together in one publication, deeply touched my heart.

Generations of Ducks

Our son Brook and daughter Katheryn earned their bachelor’s degrees from the UO. My gift to our alma mater is their legacy, as well. We each received an outstanding education, accompanied by rich experiences, while undergraduates. 

To go further back in time, my great-grandfather, Charles Kansas Hale, was in the UO’s first four-year graduating class (1876–1880). His father, Calvin Thomas Hale, donated cattle to help pay for the first campus building. 

A life-long connection

It was an honor being asked to serve on the UOAA Executive Board and various College of Education boards, and a privilege to serve as chair of the class of 1965’s 50th reunion and co-chair of the 30th year reunion committees. 

The strong bonds I formed with fellow committee members, as well as with members of the faculty and staff, warm my heart and provide happy memories that will last the rest of my life.

Carol Johnson Yetter, BS ’65

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