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Clarence Boyd Jones Society

The year 1953 was pivotal in the history of Hadley Institute. The resources of the school were so limited that its existence was in jeopardy. To continue to offer free courses to the blind, philanthropy needed to be increased. As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Clarence Boyd Jones led a campaign to first save the school, and then to raise the money for the building on Elm Street. Mr. Jones cared deeply about Hadley's mission to help thousands of blind and visually impaired people. He gave generously of his time and resources to secure its financial future, and his legacy lives on in the society that bears his name. We invite you to leave a lasting legacy at Hadley for the Blind and Visually Impaired by including Hadley in your estate planning and joining the Clarence Boyd Jones Society by completing and returning the Membership Form (in PDF format).

Why Planned Giving is a Win-Win

Image of Ray George

Having spent 40 years at Northern Trust, Ray George is no stranger to smart investing. And for him, giving to Hadley for the Blind and Visually Impaired is a wise investment.

George became involved with Hadley through close friends. He recalls being invited to early Woman's Board dinner dances at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he was first introduced to the organization and its mission to empower those with vision loss to thrive at home, at work and in their communities. He joined Hadley's Board of Trustees in 1986. After retiring from Northern Trust in 1993 as Senior Vice President/Senior Fiduciary Officer, George was ready for new challenges. When his friend, Bob Zabel, invited him to become board chairman, he accepted and didn't look back. "Before Hadley, I was never chairman of anything as large as this incredible organization," George says. He recalls walking the halls, meeting with staff and volunteers, completely impressed with the scope of work going on inside the unassuming building at 700 Elm Street. He vividly remembers long-range strategic planning sessions where experts in the education and blindness fields convened at Hadley to determine what courses should be taught and what new directions the school should take, and recalls working on the "new" Hadley logo design, which was approved during his tenure as board chairman in 1994.

From the very beginning of his affiliation with Hadley, George saw himself as a donor, making provisions for Hadley in his will well before the organization established a planned giving society--one he helped create. George asked Nancy Jones, daughter of Hadley co-founder Dr. E.V.L. Brown, if they could name the society in honor of her husband, as both were instrumental in raising funds for the school. He knew her answer the moment she began to cry. The Clarence Boyd Jones Society was officially established in 1999 and recognizes donors who have remembered the school through a variety of planned giving options. Today, the Society names approximately 100 donors. When asked, "Why give to Hadley?" George says, "To ensure that courses remain tuition-free for people who are blind or visually impaired and their families. Fundraising is the school's number one source of revenue; giving to Hadley means ensuring its future.

"Hadley is a well-run, fiscally sound and innovative institution with a strong endowment," he adds. "It has continued as an innovator in the field while staying true to its core values, such as teaching braille."

For George, planned giving is the perfect vehicle to benefit Hadley. "Whether you name Hadley in your will or utilize any one of a variety of favorable trust vehicles or create a Charitable Gift Annuity, a planned gift is a great way to leave a legacy and get a return on investment at the same time." He says Charitable Gift Annuities are especially appealing. Of course, one of the best reasons to make a planned gift, George notes, is the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting the more than 100,000 learners worldwide who benefit from Hadley each year.

Having served Hadley in a multitude of capacities, George recently stepped down from the Management Committee but continues to review estate files and assist the Development and Communications Department. And he continues to give to Hadley. "I hope others will consider joining the Clarence Boyd Jones Society. It's a very meaningful way to give back and ensure that Hadley continues to thrive."

To learn more about Hadley's planned giving options or to notify the school of your intention to include it in your long-range estate plans, please contact Brooke Voss, 800-323-4238, ext. 2774 or email

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