Evan Kavanagh: Helping Others Through UNCF
Growing up with a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr., in his living room, Evan Kavanagh had a strong commitment to social justice from an early age. His father was an inner-city minister who became a corporate executive, and his mother was a schoolteacher who worked to advance social justice issues through her profession and her volunteer activities. Influenced by both parents, Evan's commitment to helping others is shown in both his professional path and his volunteer efforts.
Evan's wide range of life experiences exhibits a strong commitment to making the world a better place. Recently retired, he last worked at the University of California, raising funds for integrative medicine, HIV/AIDS research, and psychiatry. He also served from 2000 to 2010 as the executive director of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a Buddhist teaching facility, and has been commissioned as a Buddhist Ritual Minister, teaching Insight Meditation at 12-step retreats and counseling couples. Evan also has volunteered for a wide variety of organizations, including the United Farm Workers Union, the Gay Community AIDS Project, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, to name a few.
While considering his estate, Evan decided that he wanted to make a difference by naming UNCF as a beneficiary of his retirement account. This type of gift is an easy vehicle for estate giving, as it uses a form provided by the account's custodian (i.e., TIAA), and it takes effect once the owner of the account passes away.
When I asked Evan what motivated him to make this significant commitment to UNCF, he shared this with me: "We need to make structural changes in our society. UNCF can help me help others. I've enjoyed the advantages of an upper middle-class upbringing. It's time that those benefits were shared more widely. So, I'm leaving most of my estate to create scholarships for [LGBTQ+] people of color. Investing in education brings changes to entire families for generations."
We truly appreciate Evan's generous support of UNCF, our mission, and most importantly, our students. Gifts like his ensure that our scholars will be able to attend and graduate from college for generations to come.