George and Luella Landis are making a difference every day at the University of Hartford. The couple, who met in 1963 as undergraduates at the school, has spent their lives giving back to the place where they first met and fell in love.
Longtime financial supporters of the University, the Landises have been members of the legacy society, known as the Founders' Planned Giving Society, for many years. Through their annual giving and thoughtful gift planning, the Landises are changing the lives of students today and leaving a legacy for the future.
“We remain committed to supporting the school that has played such a pivotal role in both our personal and professional lives.”
The couple's lives were changed forever when they first met in the University bookstore in the summer of 1963. Just 21 days after their initial encounter, George asked Luella to marry him. As young newlyweds they together managed to complete their undergraduate requirements two and a half years later. George graduated with a degree in liberal arts and economics, while Luella, who came to the University with a strong interest in helping others, earned a degree in elementary education with a concentration in psychology.
“We were not scholarship recipients, but we are well aware that college scholarships play a dramatically more important role in the education of today’s students,” said George. “That’s why we support its young people who are receiving a first-rate education today.”
The Landises both secured employment in the Hartford area and went on to have successful careers. George found his vocation with the Security Insurance Group and Luella with the Connecticut State Department of Health. In 1970 Luella obtained her master’s degree in school psychology, and George founded Landis Associates, Inc., a commercial photography company serving business and industry.
George and Luella are retired now, but the couple has not forgotten that the University of Hartford gave them the tools to pursue their career objectives and was the welcoming place where they first met and fell in love. The Landises return to campus as often as possible to attend Founders’ Planned Giving Society functions, alumni and homecoming events, an occasional athletic contest, or a Hartt school performance. They frequently observe the many changes on campus since they attended the University in its early days.
“The University had a small campus when we were students,” said George. “Today, it’s amazing to see all of the state-of-the-art buildings and the expansion of programs offered.”
The transformations they notice today would not have been possible without their patronage and that of others who are making a difference through annual giving and generous gift planning. Those gifts are used to build new facilities, hire faculty, offer scholarships, and help the University to attract qualified students.
Through their commitment and generosity the Landises are affecting the lives of today's students and leaving a legacy that will forever touch the students who come after.