Neither Byron Jones nor Sandra Sartor had the opportunity to go to university. Nor did their parents.
“I always felt that universities were institutions that were out of bounds for someone like me,” Ms Sartor says. “But now we have had dealings with the University, we can see that it’s a community asset and it’s a place for everybody.”
The couple have agreed to partner with the University of Wollongong and give $2000 each year to fund the Salvestrin Sartor Jones scholarship which will help a student who might not otherwise afford higher education. To ensure the scholarship lives on in perpetuity, Mr Jones and Ms Sartor have included a bequest in their will. This gift means the proceeds from the sale of their home will fund the scholarship in an ongoing basis after they pass away.
“We know it’s not a great deal of money, but it’s what we can afford,” Byron, a former public servant, says. “Can we do without $2000 a year? The answer is yes. And it gives me a great deal of pleasure to think that we can help someone achieve their potential.”
The scholarship is named after Ms Sartor’s parents, post-war migrants to the Illawarra from Italy, because they were never able to complete their education.
“The reason that I decided to include their names is because both would have loved to further their education,” Ms Sartor says. “My parents’ education was interrupted by the war because the roads were being bombed and fired upon, so they had to stay at home and not go to school.
“My mum was a seamstress – so education is not necessarily the be-all and end-all – but education could have opened up the world for them.
“Universities are not just about the study, they are also about making friends, forming networks, and learning about arts and culture.”
It’s a similar story for Mr Jones. Born in Wales, his father died when he was 15, so he needed to leave school early to find work to support his family.
“I fell into a series of dead-end jobs,” he says.
The pattern continued when he arrived in Australia in 1975, but was broken when he took the Public Service Test and started a career in the Department of Social Services (later Centrelink) that continued for 23 years.
Since they don’t have children, both Mr Jones and Ms Sartor started thinking recently about what they would like to do with their assets, how they could use them to make the world a better place.
Ms Sartor was inspired by the example of her parents, who would often perform service through Italian community organisations in the Illawarra.
“It came to the point in our life when we started wondering what would happen to the assets that we have accumulated,” Ms Sartor says. “How could we use them to benefit future generations?
“We have always been givers, so we considered a range of charities, but then we thought that charities come and go, but universities last for hundreds of years. We wanted to help someone fulfil their dreams and ambitions.”
The Salvestrin Sartor Jones scholarship will be awarded for the first time this year with Mr Jones and Ms Sartor accepting an invitation to be involved in the selection process.
“There are a lot of people out there who can’t afford higher education,” Ms Sartor says. “It gives us satisfaction to think that we will be able to help one person every year to fulfil their dreams and their ambitions.”
If you would like to discuss, in confidence any aspect of leaving a gift in your will to the University please contact us on 02 4221 5757 or email@example.com