Lucile Hawks: Leaving a Legacy

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A love for foreign textiles inspired this donor’s gift to Colorado State University.

Generosity, intelligence and an open heart are just a few of the many characteristics Lucile Hawks possesses. One can't help but appreciate her wisdom as she talks about her history with foreign textiles and travels to Eastern and Western Europe, Morocco, Guatemala and other countries. At the age of 93, Lucile credits her practices of eating well, exercising and keeping busy to her vitality.

Lucile earned her bachelor's degree in home economics and art from Kansas State College in 1939. She left her home in Kansas for four summers to earn her master's in home economics from Colorado State University, which she received in 1958. Her four week summer lessons at CSU were difficult, she says, but very rewarding. "I loved the courses I took out there," Lucile says, "Colorado State's professors as well as the visiting professors were the cream-of-the-crop."

Lucile's passion for textiles began as a student. "I just plain love the designs and colors," Lucile says. "I have always been interested in foreign travels, and through my research, I appreciated museum pieces."

During her 39-year teaching career, Lucile was given authentic Guatemalan articles of clothing by a friend, whom she met in Kansas. The Guatemalan clothes were displayed in her classroom, but after retirement she wanted to make sure the textiles would be somewhere they could be treasured and cared for. The textiles as well as a large collection of about 100 miniature quilts are now located in the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising at CSU's University Center for the Arts.

When it came time to think about a planned gift, Lucile knew the one that best fit her lifestyle. She established a charitable gift annuity through the CSU Foundation in 2006 which supports her historic textile collection. "I chose a charitable gift annuity because it gave me a good income. It also helped out the area to which I gave a good investment and that was truly important to me."

A second annuity established in 2009 creates new scholarships for apparel students in the Department of Design and Merchandising. "Rises in tuition are making it difficult for students to get an education," Lucile says. "I hope my gifts will give students a better understanding of textiles and how they are constructed and designed."

Lucile believes her gifts to Colorado State are a smart investment and she is grateful her textile collection is appreciated by the students, faculty, and staff of CSU. "This is a great way to help others and it makes you feel good," Lucile says. "I can't think of a better way to spend money. The more you help others, the better you feel and the more you get in return."