College of Charleston Alumna Plans for Future Technology Tools

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Graham Ervin ’05 set up a planned gift to the College of Charleston through FreeWill.

Graham Ervin ’05 fell in love with the College of Charleston the moment she stepped on campus. She embraced CofC and played an active role as a member of the Student Government Association – a senator all four years and senior class president – and a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. 

“Being so involved on campus with people in the administration made me feel part of the institution,” says Ervin. “I saw people so invested in the success of the College – I truly felt connected and wanted to contribute my time, talents and treasures to make it a better place for others. The experience changed my life.” 

Ervin also changed the College in positive ways. She received numerous awards in appreciation for all she did, including the prestigious President Theodore S. Stern Cup Award, which is given to a senior who has faithfully served the interests and ideals of the College and who, by character and influence, has exemplified the ideals and quality of former CofC President Stern, both in the College and the community. 

Ervin stayed in Charleston after graduation and continued to make an impact at the College. She served as the Alumni Association‘s Lowcountry CofC Club event coordinator and on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors. She also did a stint as an adjunct professor for the School of Business Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, where she taught events management and public relations and special events. 

After being laid off from her job at a local event venue in 2020 during the pandemic, Ervin pivoted her career and moved to New Orleans. She is now the sales team manager for Tiffany & Co. and is the CofC Alumni Association New Orleans CofC Club event coordinator. 

Still, Ervin wanted to do something bigger for the College and hit on a planned gift after a friend did it through FreeWill estate planning.

“I signed up for FreeWill and, when given the option to donate to a nonprofit, I chose the College of Charleston,” says Ervin, who has been a regular donor to the College since graduation. “I remember my entire department only had access to two Apple computers, which didn’t give us much opportunity to learn graphic design software. I always thought that if I could donate a significant amount of money, I would provide access to the best technology so students could get ahead of the curve. 

“Technology is always changing, and students need the tools to stay competitive in their careers,” she adds. “We already have top-tier faculty and bright students. And it’s essential to have to have access to the tools to be successful.” 

Zach Hartje, deputy CIO and director of Teaching and Learning Technologies couldn’t agree more: “We are incredibly excited and grateful to be considered for a legacy gift that will allow us to continue to provide emerging technology tools to our students and faculty, enhance the teaching and learning experience and prepare our students to be successful digital citizens upon graduation from the College of Charleston,” he says. “A gift like this will provide lasting effects on the lives of future generations of College of Charleston students.” 

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