Giving with Purpose
The McIntosh Perspective
In the world of apples, the McIntosh variety is among the best all-around treats that you can find.
Even in the realm of alumni giving, it is pretty darn hard to beat a McIntosh.
Ronald and Patricia McIntosh worked long, smart and hard throughout their productive careers. But through it all, it has been encoded in their DNA to give back to the institutions that have given so much to them. For the two of them, Alabama A&M University has been a common denominator.
Although Pat practically grew up on the campus, her husband Ronald became immersed in the spirit of The Hill and has not been able to shake it off, despite a slate of decades.
The two are part of the prestigious Normal Legacy Society, a body that recognizes those who have given back to AAMU at unprecedented levels. Still, the McIntoshes have contributed at a level, they surmise, that approaches a half million dollars. Their many giving instances also serve as a constant reminder to their fellow alumni to give back in some way.
At the last home basketball game of the Bulldogs against Florida A&M in February, the McIntoshes presented the Athletics Department with a check for $25,000. The funds were divvied up with $10,000 for football; $7,000 for the Marching Maroon and White Band; $3,000 each for the basketball teams; and $2,000 for the volleyball program.
“My wife and I feel that historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are endangered,” said Ron, “especially with the operating costs and all the cuts here and there. Considering where we all are today as alumni, we would not have made it, except for the Lord, A&M and our families.”
The McIntoshes believe that, no matter what alums perceive as their current station in life, they must do their part “to help sustain HBCUs” through the next generation.
“We have to stand in the gap,” Ron added. “Every little bit helps” to offset the shortfall experienced by precious institutions that are responsible for the majority of the professionals within the black community.
“Teachers cared about the students and leveled with us on what could be facing us in the years to come,” Ron stressed. “We hitched our wagons to the HBCU stars of A&M, Fisk and others. So, Pat and I count HBCUs as a part of our budget.”
Ron said that if each member of the massive group of alumni in North Alabama alone would commit to $1,000, the result could significantly boost the University’s endowment.
“We look for a reason to give,” Ron said, “instead of a reason not to give.”
by J. Saintjones