Warm Reception Has Lasting Impact

Mark and Rebecca Hefter

Mark and Rebecca Hefter

Mark and Rebecca Hefter, who moved south together to attend LSU, call giving to Louisiana's flagship university a "reflex reaction" to the warm reception they enjoyed as students. That reflex inspired them to pledge a $1 million unrestricted, endowed estate gift to the College of Humanities & Social Sciences.

"Neither one of us had a lot of money when we were that age, and a lot of college experiences were foreclosed to us because of that," Mark said, sharing, "I feel like we have a family back there who had no reason to be interested in us, strange people from out of town, but made us feel welcome and like one of their own. I'll always be grateful for that."

When they first arrived on campus, the Hefters didn't anticipate, given the large size of the university, receiving one-on-one attention or having so many experiences catered to their interests.

"There was no conversation that they wouldn't take time to have with you," Rebecca said. "I think taking such good care of us allowed us to take a breath and believe that we could make it." Today, Mark (Humanities & Social Sciences, '77 and '79; Law, '82) is the associate vice president of the American Technion Society, which provides support for the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. Rebecca (Humanities & Social Sciences, '77 and '85), principal and founder of Creative Communication Strategies, is a communications consultant and an executive coach who works with clients worldwide.

"The communication professors made sure that you knew how to do your research, find the best possible resources and, of course, write about the issue you were making recommendations for. Every single bit of that has transferred to being a consultant," Rebecca said.

"I've had so many different professions within my career," Mark added. "I think a lot of what I learned as an English major at LSU was how to deal with change and realize when doing the same-old, same-old isn't going to work anymore. You have to innovate."

The Hefters' continued relationship with the college throughout the years cemented their confidence that the Mark and Rebecca Hefter Endowed Fund will be used in the best interests of future Tigers.

"The college has done a really good job of letting us know not only what the needs are, but how they're using the money. We get videos, which are just delightful, about what the students are doing or how they're using additional funds. That just makes us trust them all the more."

The College of Humanities & Social Sciences offers a diverse curriculum that gives students a foundational base of analytical reasoning, communication and critical thinking skills for an edge in future studies or careers.

To learn about ways you can make a lasting impact on future Tigers, contact Lindsey Yates-Grimley '92 at lgrimley@lsufoundation.org or 225-772-1194.

hss.lsu.edu