Larry (’72) and Anna Bennett

Larry (’72) and Anna Bennett

Larry (’72) and Anna Bennett

As a Gonzaga engineering student, Larry Bennett (’72) received scholarships for his first three years of school but struggled to find funding in his senior year. Dr. James G. McGivern, the first Dean of Gonzaga’s School of Engineering, personally opened his wallet to help Larry finish school.

“He reached into his own pocket,” Larry recalled.

In return, Larry and his wife Anna supported the Dr. James G. McGivern Engineering Scholarship with annual gifts for decades. Upon retirement, the Bennetts shifted gears on their support for Gonzaga to help fuel their desire to travel.

“We heard about the charitable gift annuity (CGA) option,” Larry explained. “It would provide lifetime annuity income, tax advantages and it fed our passion for supporting Gonzaga in a bigger way.”

“We took the sale of our house as a sign that we should get moving,” said Larry, “so we did.” With a portion of the sale proceeds, they funded a charitable gift annuity (CGA) which will provide the Bennetts with quarterly income for the rest of their lives. Whatever remains in the annuity will establish The Lawrence J. and Anna M. Bennett Scholarship for the benefit of engineering students.

Anna agreed. “Our hope is to benefit deserving engineering students at GU with scholarships through this gift, similar to what Larry and later our son Andrew received.”

Supplemented by the income from their CGA, the Bennetts set out on a three-year North American expedition in an RV to see as many states and provinces as they could. As dyed-in-the-wool Zags, they took Gonzaga along for the ride, too - appearing in GU gear in photos they shared along the way in regular email updates from the road. Square dancing, golfing, birding, sightseeing and countless other adventures filled the Bennetts’ journey, which came to an end in Meridian, Idaho in September 2016. They visited 49 states, nine Canadian provinces and one territory, stayed in over 200 RV parks, and traveled more than 60,000 miles - sharing their Zag spirit along the way. They are still investigating how to float their RV to Hawaii to visit that last 50th state!