"You never have a Harvard home game when you live in Pittsburgh,” jokes Bill Markus ’60. No matter, Bill and his wife Carole make as many as 10 trips a year to attend Harvard football games in Cambridge and on the road. His diligence has earned him the right to wave Harvard’s famous Little Red Flag one day a year at the ultimate Ivy League showdown, an honor given to the alumnus who has been judged Harvard’s number one fan.
In reality, the Markuses never stop waving the flag for Harvard. Early on in their marriage—now going on 57½ years—they established a bequest to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “We take great pride in Harvard’s academic excellence and want to see it do well. Carole and I feel it’s imperative that we give what we can to support Harvard,” says Bill. “To remain a great university in the world, it needs resources.”
They like knowing that their planned bequest, which is largely unrestricted, will complement gifts they’ve made for House Renewal and financial aid in honor of Bill’s reunions. “It’s terrific that any student can attend regardless of their family income,” says Bill.
Bill is such a fan of the impact of legacy gifts to Harvard that he serves as the John Harvard Society chair for his class. “We’d like to see as many classmates as possible participate in planned giving to Harvard,” he says.
It’s just one more way the Markuses connect with the Harvard community at large. In addition to their visits to Harvard Stadium, they also return to Cambridge for Reunions and Bill’s volunteer work on the board of the Harvard Alumni Association, making sure to include visits to the Harvard Art Museums and to Commencement as part of the Happy Committee. Whether from their homes in Pittsburgh or Fort Lauderdale, Florida, they are active in their regional clubs. And they take their love of Harvard abroad to Africa and Asia with Harvard Alumni Travels.
Says Bill, “Wherever we go, Harvard is a big part of our life.”