Planned Giving

GIVE TO LIVE: SET A GOAL TO make an impact

Charles Donald Miller, MEd’89, EdD’92 and Roberta Lemons Miller, MALS’64, EdD’92

“My first job was as a catalog librarian in Vanderbilt’s medical library,” says Roberta Lemons Miller, MALS’64, EdD’92.

It was there that she met Dr. Crawford Adams, former chairman of the library’s History of Medicine Collections. He would become a close friend and mentor, even trusting her to catalog his personal library. For Roberta, the friendships she built with Dr. Adams and other physicians that she met through the library, and the love they inspired in her for the collections, were a catalyst for many meaningful connections that she has made throughout her life.

After leaving Vanderbilt, Roberta worked as the first automation librarian at the University of Virginia, which she credits to the cutting-edge data processing techniques she studied at Vanderbilt. While in Virginia, she met her husband, Charles Donald Miller, MEd’89, EdD’92, and they soon learned that helping others through charitable giving was a shared value — one first instilled during their childhoods by their families and underscored by their faith.

“Donald was taught to give to live,” explains Roberta, “and I was taught the importance of tithing by my mother. As soon as Donald and I were married, we created a tithing jar and started saving — and then just as quickly, we started giving back.”

Over the years, the Millers have made supporting Vanderbilt a priority for their family. They have generously established ten charitable gift annuities (CGAs) that provide the couple with fixed income that is guaranteed for life. Their CGAs will ultimately establish the Charles Donald and Roberta Lemons Miller Director of the History of Medicine Collections. The director will guide the continued growth of the collections, expand its footprint globally and help tell the story of Vanderbilt’s leadership in the field of medicine and the role that medical history can play in achieving groundbreaking advancements.

“I think people who are just beginning their personal savings program should set a goal to be a philanthropist,” Roberta says. “Donald and I can wholly live on the income from our CGAs, which provides a sense of security and has allowed us to give beyond what we originally committed in our first gift.”


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