issue Spring 2021

RFU Board Chair's Matching Fund Targets Economic Barriers

As chair of the RFU Board of Trustees and a former faculty member of physical therapy, Elizabeth Coulson, PT, MBA, is passionate about the importance of building pathways for those seeking to serve humanity through the health professions.

“We can’t expand access to the highest quality care without expanding access to the highest quality education,” Ms. Coulson said. “Our faculty members understand that the work our students are training for is really a calling — a commitment to lifelong learning. That’s what makes the health professions so challenging, so wonderful, and the faculty and students who undertake them so worthy of our support.”

Ms. Coulson partnered with the Division of Institutional Advancement to establish a matching gift fund within the RFU Legacy Challenge, which will match each new planned gift commitment with a contribution to the university’s Impact Fund campaign, up to $5,000. Therefore, a donor who informs the university of their qualifying planned gift will help raise both current and future support for the university.

While Ms. Coulson’s gifts are targeted for faculty development and program leadership through the Elizabeth Shafernich Coulson Faculty Innovation Award, other donors can designate their gifts however they wish. Opportunities include scholarships that remove economic barriers to support students’ aspirations; advancing new discoveries and therapeutics; adapting pedagogy and technology; and making an impact on community wellness.

The RFU Legacy Challenge was launched in December 2020 with $100,000 in matching funds that are available on a first-come, first-served basis to any donor who documents a planned gift. To date, more than $1 million in new estate plans have been identified. The program is scheduled to run through Dec. 31, 2021, or until the matching funds have been depleted.