For JoAnn Price (’71, LA), legacy giving to Howard University is essential, not just because of how she’s benefited from her time on campus, but to strengthen the institution for today’s students, like her granddaughter, Lorna Cuthbertson (’23, HUSB).
“We’ve got to be able to continue to build our University, and we need resources to do it,” said Price, who is a planned donor. “And it’s very important that those of us who have been able to benefit from Howard University understand that. No one should understand that more than those of us who attended the University and have developed careers as a result of that experience.”
Price, who serves on the HUSB Board of Visitors, is co-founder and managing partner of Fairview Capital Partners Inc., a private equity firm based in West Hartford, Connecticut. She also serves on the advisory boards of several other private equity companies and trustee boards of several charities and civic and arts organizations.
She noted that when she and her husband (James Price, ’69, LA; ’72, HUSL) first got married, “he was giving to Howard University from day one. That was like a bill – I pay my bills; I give to Howard. And then over time we have just continued to do that in every way.”
Cuthbertson is a marketing major in the School of Business who will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She grew up surrounded by the Howard influence as her mother, grandmother, aunt and great-uncle all attended the University.
There’s a generational contrast in their experiences. Price hails from a small town in Pennsylvania, which she describes as a primarily white environment from grade school through high school.
Price’s uncle, a World War II veteran and Howard graduate, introduced her to the University. After a campus visit, she said, “I just felt that I needed to be much closer to and among my own people.”
“That was it. That was it. I made the decision: I was going,” she said.
On the other hand, Cuthbertson said she was “lucky enough” to grow up in the DMV tri-state area and graduate from Greenbelt High School.
“I was always with other Black kids; I had Black teachers. So, I was able to develop myself in a way where race wasn’t the focal point,” Cuthbertson said. “I was able to develop myself into who I am, where race is integral to who I am, but it was never a focal point of my identity.”
Cuthbertson said she had an “epiphany” about what legacy truly means: “I thought of it as a relay race. As soon as you come into Howard, someone’s passing you a baton and you have to start running. Because everybody’s running toward a goal, whether it be a degree, careers, happiness, connection, everybody’s running toward something.”
She noted that “in a relay race, you can’t run until someone else finishes their race.”
“And that’s how I always thought [of] legacy: You have to finish the race, and you have to do the best you can. So, when you pass off that baton to someone else, they can run even farther, even faster, and go even more forward … so you can move everybody else forward.”