Pam Hove: Keeping a Long-Held Promise

by Tom Hanlon  /   Aug 7, 2020

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Pam Hove, MS Human Resource Development, '08, made a vow long ago that she has fulfilled with the help of the University of Illinois Foundation.

Pam Hove is a woman of her word.

Her parents paid for her college education, and told her when she had children, she could do the same. She never had children, but she wanted to meet that commitment.

Enter Lissa May Mudrick, who at the time (2010) was senior director of development for the University of Illinois Foundation. Lissa met with Pam in Grand Rapids, where Pam works and lives.

“Lissa and I have become great friends over the past 10 years,” Pam says. “I told her back then I’d love to give a gift to the University of Illinois... someday, when I had a lot of money.”

Lissa explained that you don’t need a lot of money to give, and helped Pam set up an estate gift in 2011. Pam also donated funds to the William Chandler Bagley Scholarship, named in honor of a former professor and director of the School of Education, and in 2012, when Pam increased her giving, the Foundation suggested a named gift for Pam.

Thus, the Thelma (Jamie) and Orin Hove Scholarship was born, named in honor of Pam’s parents, “because they gave me the love of learning,” she says.

After Pam had the estate gift set up, she decided she wanted to give more, so she had the Foundation set up an annual “current use” gift, to be used at the College of Education’s discretion for a student in need. “I just leave it in the College’s capable hands,” she says. “They make it incredibly easy.”

Pam is currently working on her fifth degree—a doctorate in Human Resource Development from the College of Education at Illinois. Her other degree from Illinois is an MS in Human Resource Development, which she earned in 2008.

“It was through my master’s program at Illinois that I really finally learned how to learn,” she says. “There was something about the program, about the way they taught, that helped me get over a personal hurdle. So, it made sense to give back to the College.”

Pam’s experience as a donor has taught her a surprising lesson: “You don’t have to wait till later in life to give,” she says. “And you can do so with a small amount.

“I spoke at one of the scholarship brunches, and said, ‘Imagine if we each gave up one latte a week, and we pooled our money together, how much we’d have for a scholarship.’ When everybody gives a little, it adds up to a lot.

“I consider my giving to the scholarship no different than giving to a local church or a nonprofit. It’s just part of my giving plan. You don’t have to have a lot of money.

“Even if you just pay for somebody’s books in a semester, that’s one less part-time job that student has to take to get the books.”