A Legacy Landmark Reached

A record 3,000 Eagles commit to legacy gifts, and Shaw Society Chair Dave Griffith shares why his legacy is with BC.

Dave Griffith and his wife, Janet, at Pops on the Heights, 2019.

What is a legacy? In the Broadway musical Hamilton, Alexander answers this question by saying it’s “planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” This year, the Shaw Society, which honors those who have sown seeds at Boston College through planned gifts, or what the industry calls legacy gifts, reached a landmark tally of 3,000 members.

“What more genuine thing can you do than offer a piece of your legacy?” asks Dave Griffith ’68, University Trustee and chair of the Shaw Society. “BC absolutely changed my life—the people I met, the new things I did.” Among those new things was earning a seat in the University Chorale, on which Dave reflects, “It bolstered my confidence and gave me my voice. We sang the most beautiful music; it was just unbelievable. To have had our three children—David ’00, Kathryn ’02, and Megan ’06—attend BC three decades later, I think I’m the luckiest guy on the planet. So because BC left such an impression on me and changed my life, my wife, Janet, and I always wanted to give back in many ways.”

And give back in many ways they have. The Griffiths’ philanthropy has bolstered student financial aid, BC athletics, and even Dave’s beloved University Chorale. Their charitable lead trust—a type of planned gift that generates revenue for the University during the donor’s lifetime—fueled the women’s ice hockey locker room renovations in 2017.

With Griffith’s leadership, the Shaw Society welcomed 1,285 new members during the Light the World campaign (2008–2016). Griffith also included BC in his own will. “I’m a planner. I can’t help it. It’s who I am,” says Griffith. “Life happens, so you’re always better off to do a little planning, and making a legacy gift is really easy, easy to do.”

Asked what he would say to those considering making a planned gift part of their philanthropy, Dave offered, “If you’re going to make a legacy gift, you want to do it for a place you know is going to be there in 100 years. When you give to BC, you know you’re helping preserve the ideal of a Jesuit, Catholic education for generations to come. You know that you’re giving it to one of the premier Catholic universities in the country.”

Learn how to join the Shaw Society at

Beacon Staff

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