This article was first printed in this year's Campus Magazine. Click here to view the full magazine.

“Where would I be without EC?” is what Roberta “Bertie” Martin Hoffman ’57 asked herself when thinking about her estate plans. Bertie tributes her four years at Elmira College to her lifelong success and couldn’t think of a greater way to give back to an institution that gave so much to her. We recently sat down with Bertie to talk more about her time at Elmira College and her plans for giving back.

Why did you choose to attend Elmira College?
I had offers from other colleges, but Elmira agreed to match my $350 scholarship, giving me
the opportunity to attend tuition free. My father knew Dr. Eldridge and we thought it would be a
good fit.

What are some of your favorite memories from your time at Elmira College?
I enjoyed all the music, the Merry Chanters; it was all wonderful. I remember our traditions like
Father’s Weekend and Mountain Day too. I loved living on campus, although I didn’t think the
curfews were so great. I had wonderful professors like Dr. Dannenfeldt who gave me a liking for history. I especially remember his class called Contemporary Civilizations that I found especially interesting.

Why does Elmira College mean so much to you?
Elmira College gave me experiences and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had elsewhere. I had an opportunity to instruct swim lessons, which sparked my interest in teaching and gave me the confidence I needed to take education courses. I did my student teaching at Booth. I felt very prepared to student teach and even had a job offer before graduation. My learning at EC was experiential, experiences I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t been at EC.

I returned later for a Master’s Degree while also being a mother and wife with a house and children to care for. Looking back, I don’t know how I did it. I suppose I separated my time into proper zones and just did it. I’m so grateful for EC and the teachers I had, they gave me more than just an education.

Why do you enjoy giving to EC?
EC is the key to my life success, happiness, and well-being. I’ve had a good life. Without the education, I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had. Many benefits in my life were directly derived from my Elmira College education.

What prompted you to make a planned gift?
I’m a very frugal person and have saved quite a bit. I have enough from my Required Minimum Distribution to pay for the things I need and give annually to my charities. When I think about my estate, I think of my three daughters, which I want to give to equally. After providing for them, there is an extra ten percent left in my estate. I thought, “What to do with the extra?” I first looked to my faith and church. Then I looked to Elmira College because, ‘Where would I be without EC?’ So I decided to split the remainder between the two.”

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