Bob and Gina Harmon: Investing in future students

Gina and Bob Harmon

Historians are uniquely qualified to provide perspective, an ability to view and illustrate the big picture with the passage of time.

Bob Harmon, one of Seattle University's most beloved history professors, has been part of the university's fabric for more than a half-century, first as a student, then as a professor and now, as professor emeritus.

Today, he looks back and sees a university whose academic stature has emerged on a national level, attracting top faculty and highly qualified students.

“The expectations of academic excellence have consistently gone up and up and up,” said Harmon, who has received numerous honors from the university, including the Alumni Award in 1993.

Harmon's wife, Gina, worked for years at the university, including as the director of the International Studies Office when it first opened more than 10 years ago.

“You can see the university's well-rounded approach to education in the high quality of Seattle University's graduates,” she said.

The Harmons have established a legacy at Seattle University, one which extends beyond the lives they have touched personally to future generations.

Through the establishment of two gift annuities the Harmons are supporting the Father McGoldrick Alumni Endowed Scholarship Program. Their annuities represent one of a myriad of planned giving options available to those wanting to contribute to the university. In addition to the gift annuities, the Harmons have included Seattle University in their wills.

Named for James B. McGoldrick, S.J. (1895-1983), a dean and professor of educational psychology, the McGoldrick program awards scholarships to students who are children or grandchildren of Seattle University alumni, as well as nieces or nephews of clergy who are alumni of the university. The scholarship was established in 1979, and has awarded more than $350,000 to eligible students.

“As our lives became more and more entwined with Seattle University,” said Gina Harmon, “we saw more places where the Jesuit influence was so important to many people.”

The university, she added, makes a special effort for students who have unique needs, and students with much to offer if provided the opportunity. “That is something to strongly support,” she said.


From the Winter 2008 issue of the Campaign Newsletter