Donor Stories and Legacies

Bill and Joan Hank Provide  for Future Generations at Notre Dame with a Gift That Pays Income

Bill and Joan Hank

Chicago natives Bill Hank ’54 and his wife Joan, a Loyola University graduate, can count many blessings in their life together. They have been married nearly 60 years, have five children and 15 grandchildren. All five of their children are Notre Dame graduates, and three have spouses who graduated from Notre Dame.

As their 50th wedding anniversary approached, Bill wanted to give Joan the gift of security. A Notre Dame charitable gift annuity became a “no-brainer” gift for Joan. With Notre Dame’s Aaa credit rating (according to Moody’s Investors Service) and investment ethics, the current and estate-tax savings, and the income for life, there was no alternative investment option that compared, according to Bill.

The gift annuity will provide steady income to Joan for her lifetime—an income that Bill can count on due to the management of the University’s resources and its fiscal conservatism. Bill and Joan have subsequently established several charitable gift annuities at Notre Dame, attracted by their highly competitive annual payouts and by the significant income-tax savings they provide.

The Hanks consider themselves to be quiet benefactors. Giving to Notre Dame is both an “obligation and an opportunity,” an ethic Bill and Joan modeled after watching their parents work long and hard to provide them with educations.

Bill and Joan met in high school in Chicago. Joan was a member of the rival school’s girls debate team, the only team that beat Bill’s team. Bill went on to study business at Notre Dame at the recommendation of his pastor. Notre Dame’s proximity to Chicago put his parents at ease. Cherished memories from that time include walking to the Grotto on Sunday evenings with church bells ringing and snow crunching underfoot, and of course, football games!

After graduation, Bill served seven years in the U.S. Air Force, with three years of active duty, including one year in Korea, and four more years in the reserves. He then became an investment banker in suburban Chicago.

Now blessed financially, the Hanks had already set up a gift to Notre Dame through their wills. Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., was a major influence in the Hanks’ decision to make a planned gift to the University. Bill had the opportunity to work with Fr. Hesburgh during Bill’s time as a student, working to grow the donor base of the University. Bill continues to work on growing Notre Dame’s donor base today as an active member of the University’s Gift Planning Advancement Committee.

When the Hanks come back to Notre Dame, they are inspired by the abilities and enthusiasm of the student body. Bill says that the presentations made by the finance students outperform those of experienced investment bankers. Bill also feels blessed to have worked with both Dr. Carolyn Woo and Dr. Frank Reilly during his time as an advisory council member for the Mendoza College of Business.

Thank you, Bill and Joan. Notre Dame is humbled by your generosity and commitment to the mission of Our Lady’s University.