When Tim Goodwin reflects on his time at St. John’s, he has one overwhelming feeling—gratitude.
During his sophomore year at St. John’s, a poor business investment left his family in difficult straits. The tuition was no longer something the family could afford. It appeared that he and his two brothers would have to leave the school. However, his mom, who dearly loved St. John’s, had other ideas.
Goodwin recalls that his mother met with Headmaster Alan Chidsey and asked if there might be a job for her at the school so that she could keep her sons at St. John’s. Mr. Chidsey’s positive answer to her simple request set the wheels in motion for Elizabeth “Billie” Goodwin to have a long career at St. John’s. She truly loved her twenty years of working at the School and was especially blessed by the support she received from the St. John’s community when her son Danny was killed in a car accident during his junior year.
In the 1990’s, Goodwin served on the Board of Trustees and asked the Development Office for planned giving ideas. He was encouraged to set up a Deferred Gift Annuity—which is essentially an investment the School is allowed to grow for a set number of years before annuity payments are collected by the donor for the duration of his or her lifetime. At the end of the term of the annuity, the School receives the remainder of the investment. At the time, the investment was a stretch for Goodwin, but he felt doing this in honor of his mother and brother was important to recognize both the sacrifices she made for her family and the fine young man his brother had become before his death. Understanding that the annuity payments would help support his own family made the annuity gift a win-win.
The expected gift to the School fell within the named Endowment levels and Goodwin was able to name this fund for his mother and brother and restrict its use to those in need of financial aid. The Billie and Danny Goodwin Memorial Fund was an opportunity to honor the legacy of the Goodwin Family at St. John’s and honor the significant part the School played in the lives of his family. While Goodwin is eternally grateful that his determined mom asked to be put to work, he is even more thankful that St. John’s said, “Yes.”
Now as Goodwin plans his estate, he sees the opportunity to impact more students at St. John’s in honor of his mother and brother. In his will, Goodwin plans to bequeath additional funds to support the Billie and Danny Goodwin Memorial Fund. For Goodwin and his family, St. John’s provided them with a “life-altering experience” and he “hopes to give that to future generations of St. John’s students.”