Grad’s Gift Ensures Support for Future UTIA Students

Author: UTIA Advancement

Last Updated:

Category: Donor Stories | Legacy Giving

Allison Williams

A weatherworn hand stopped Alison Williams as she prepared to meet her next client. The man looked toward her long, manicured nails.

“You can’t calibrate the equipment with the long fingernails,” the farmer scoffed, clearly expecting a man in Alison’s place.

“Watch me,” she replied.

Alison, a 1998 agriculture economics graduate, is no stranger to being underestimated. Her job as the North American account manager with DuPont Crop Protection means she is often the only female in the boardroom, which is sometimes a surprise to clients.

However, she is not limited to others’ expectations, even when it comes to philanthropic giving. Alison recently included UTIA in her estate planning, even though she graduated less than twenty years ago.

“It’s my turn to give back,” she says. “I loved my time at UT, and I want to do my part to help ensure the future for UTIA and communicate all the great things UTIA continues to do.”

“Estate planning sounds like a stuffy legal term reserved for people with gray hair and loads of money,” says Angelia Nystrom, UTIA’s director of specialty programs. “In reality, every person should make time for this critical step of adulthood.”

Estate planning, which can include writing a will and updating beneficiary-designation forms, can protect loved ones from potentially difficult decisions and expensive legal hassles. It can also give you an opportunity to support organizations like UTIA and benefit generations to come.

Alison, who has served on the UTIA Advancement Board is passionate about preparing the next generation of agriculturists. The development of the newest UT 4-H and conference center in West Tennessee, Lone Oaks Farm, has become close to her heart and the focus of much of her philanthropic efforts.

With very specific goals for her gift, Alison has been able to work with the UT Foundation to establish a gift to benefit educational efforts for young people at Lone Oaks Farm.

“It is important to support agriculture education at a young age. Children must know that anything is possible,” she says. “We have the responsibility to show them that their dreams are achievable and supply them the resources to succeed before society tells them any differently.”

Thanks to her example and commitment and because of her planned gift, agriculture education will continue to expand modern expectations and break barriers.

“By making a planned gift, you can help organizations that are meaningful to you during life and also after you are gone,” says Angelia. “There are so many options available to fit our donors’ desires, and our office is always available to assist.”