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Donor Stories

Lucy and Doug JonesFor Sarratt Society members Doug and Lucy Jones, it was never a question of if they would make an impactful gift to support Vanderbilt athletics; it was simply the questions of when and how. “I think there was a clause in our wedding agreement that I would be a Vanderbilt fan,” laughed Lucy. Having just celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary in the spring of 2017, Lucy and Doug have spent many years happily married and cheering for Vanderbilt.

Their support, however, has extended well beyond having season tickets (which they have had for 50 years!), wearing black and gold on game day, attending home games and making annual gifts. In the early ‘80s, Lucy got a call from the late Ken Hudgens asking her to fill in at the Vanderbilt ticket office for someone on medical leave. What started out as a part-time job turned into a 30-year career.  “Ken knew I was a rabid fan. I thought it was the best job in the world—getting paid to go to games,” shared Lucy. Athletic Director Coach Jim Foster encouraged Lucy to move into fundraising. Lucy was Senior Director of Development for Athletics until she retired in 2011.

Doug and their sons, Dr. Dewayne Jones, BS’88 and Dr. Jody Jones, BS’94, have always supported Lucy in her endeavors. “The boys never missed a game growing up. They were ball boys for basketball,” said Doug. “Jody played football at Vanderbilt and Dewayne was a team manager.” Going to Commodore games is still a family affair with their four grandchildren, Austin, Ashton, Hannah Elizabeth and Trevor, often in attendance.  There is hope one—or all—of the grandkids will attend Vanderbilt one day.

As parents of alumni, Doug and Lucy recognize the wonderful educational opportunities Vanderbilt provides its student-athletes. “Our boys would never be where they are in their careers without their Vanderbilt education,” Doug said. Dewayne and Jody both have successful dental practices. Dewayne, who is married to Liz, has an office in Smyrna and Jody, who is married to Kimberly, has his office on Nashville’s Music Row.

It was Lucy’s retirement that provided the answer to the question of when she and Doug would make their legacy gift. The last part of the equation was how and Lucy’s experience in fundraising and working with Office of Planned Giving helped provide the answer.

“Doug and I wanted to endow a scholarship. I knew there were many ways to give besides writing a check,” said Lucy. “As we discussed our interest with the Office of Planned Giving, we learned how we could convert a condominium into income for life. They prepared documents and ran all the numbers, showing us how much we could deduct in taxes and how much income we could expect from the trust,” Doug added. “Instead of selling the property and paying the taxes, we transferred it to a charitable remainder trust at Vanderbilt. The trustee sold the condo and reinvested the proceeds. Now it pays us lifetime income, which is great in retirement.” The trust will eventually establish the Lucy and Doug Jones Scholarship to benefit student-athletes.   

“Working with the student-athletes over the years and seeing how a Vanderbilt education helped them do great things with their lives—it made me a bigger fan. I know firsthand what it takes financially to provide these opportunities. I’m so glad Doug and I and the boys can make Vanderbilt part of our family’s legacy.”

“There’s a saying that you should give until it feels good,” continued Lucy. “It feels good for us—all of us—to give to Vanderbilt. In our minds and in our hearts we’ve received a whole lot more than what we’ve given.”

If you want to join Lucy and Doug Jones in giving a planned gift to Vanderbilt, please contact us today.