Skip to content

Legacy of Love


When Connie Little ’61 and Lowell Davis M.Ph. ’10, married in 2022, there was hardly any question about where to have their nuptial mass: at UST’s Chapel of St. Basil. After all, their connection to the University of St. Thomas played a significant role in their relationship. Not only do they both hold degrees from the University, but they remain very active members of our Celt community: as alumni, as donors, even as students! While Lowell pursues his Ph.D from the Center for Thomistic Studies, Connie recently took part in a lecture series on the history of Polish resistance in World War II, offered by the St. John Paul II Institute. They’re frequently spotted on campus attending lectures, cultural programs, Mass and alumni events.  

But soon after their marriage, Lowell realized he was missing one connection to the University that Connie had: membership in the Lillian and Stella Scanlan Society.  

Membership in the Scanlan Society recognizes donors who have chosen to include UST in their enduring legacy by committing a part of their estate to the University through their will, beneficiary designation, or other giving vehicle. While Connie had put her estate plans in place several years ago, and made sure to include UST as a beneficiary, Lowell didn’t even have a will, and wasn’t certain where to turn.  

That’s when an email from the Office of University Advancement announcing a partnership with Freewill, the largest provider of wills in the United States, landed in his inbox. Even better for Lowell, people have enlisted Freewill to commit more than $7.2 billion to nonprofit organizations. Lowell used the tool to draft his will and included a bequest to UST. He also agreed to have Freewill notify UST of his plans.  

UST’s Planned Giving Advisor Kiernan O’Connor soon confirmed with Lowell that his will was signed and notarized, and he was pleased to welcome Lowell as a member of the Scanlan Society.  

The experience re-energized Connie and Lowell’s desire to encourage other alumni to include a bequest to the University of St. Thomas in their wills. As Connie describes it, “The University did so much for me. Now it’s my turn to help others.” And she will. Her special financial support provides numerous student scholarships. 

For Lowell, UST alumni can make a lasting difference to their alma mater by making a planned gift, “Because the promising greatness of the University and its Basilian mission call for a greatness of support, and because many graduates want to pass on to others what they have received.”  

O’Connor concurs. “Schools with larger endowments do better. Having that financial security is huge. Our endowment is competitive with our peers, but Connie and Lowell are right: there’s an enormous opportunity and planned giving is the key.”    

share this post