Susan Coe Heitsch (BUS ’80) learned a few life lessons during the seven years she worked in the trust marketing group at a major financial institution.
“If you don’t have a will, the state determines how your property will be distributed—and it’s not necessarily what you’d have chosen,” says Heitsch, a communications executive in the financial industry. “And if you do have a will, you really should update it every five years because I guarantee that something in your life has changed.”
While discussing their future, Heitsch and her husband, Gary, decided to incorporate philanthropy into their plans by making a substantial planned gift to benefit future marketing students at DePaul.
“If you went to college in the ’80s or ’90s, now is the time to think about the legacy you’re going to leave,” Heitsch says. “If DePaul helped to get you where you are today, maybe there’s a way you want to give back.”
Heitsch has been giving back ever since she graduated. She was active in Delta Mu Delta, the business honor society, as a student. After graduation, she organized the society’s annual membership drive and induction ceremony for several years until her daughter was born.
In 2009, Sue Fogel, then chair of the Department of Marketing, invited her to be an inaugural member of DePaul’s Marketing Advisory Council. Heitsch accepted.
“I did so because DePaul was like family to me, very encouraging and very nurturing,” says Heitsch. “Even as an evening student, my professors were accessible and truly cared about their students. I got to know several of my teachers and maintained contact with them over the years.”
“Serving on a council is another good way to give back to the university while making some great connections,” Heitsch says. “To network with people online is one thing. To spend two or three hours with them several times a year, brainstorming ideas and making them come to life, is a far more meaningful way to connect.”