Alumni Couple Makes an Impact With Ongoing Generosity

Kent and Diane Fannon

Kent Fannon '74 and Diane Fannon '74

The greatest gift the University of Rhode Island gave Kent and Diane Fannon was bringing them together. But that's just one of many reasons they love their alma mater and have given back so generously.

"We benefited from our education there, personally and professionally," Diane says. "When you have the ability to give back, you should. It didn't take us very long to decide that the place we most wanted to give back to was the University."

The campus radio station brought the couple together. They graduated in 1974—Diane in elementary education and English and Kent in accounting—and married in 1976.

Today, the Fannons live in Dallas, where Kent is a partner in an executive search firm and Diane a principal in an advertising agency.

Creating a Legacy

The successful pair regularly participates in Annual Career Day for the College of Business Administration. They have funded two scholarships and an endowed career fund to help business students find jobs, as well as made planned gifts, including naming URI as a major beneficiary of their donor-advised fund. Using a simple form, a beneficiary designation is an easy way to make a gift of life insurance, donor-advised funds, retirement plan assets, or bank or brokerage accounts.

"There are people who deeply understand the need of higher education and know what it takes to educate and prepare our students so they can be productive members of society. Kent and Diane Fannon are such individuals," says Maling Ebrahimpour, dean of the College of Business. "They truly care about education and their alma mater. Their continued generous contribution in support of our career services is a shining example. Now, once again, they took one more step to show their commitment to higher education. We are grateful for their investment in unrestricted support in addition to their planned gift and outright major giving."

The Fannons are focused on making an impact at URI. Kent, who currently chairs the College of Business Dean's Advisory Council, says: "We reconnected with URI 10 years ago and have been tremendously impressed by the leadership of the University and the student body. Our families have Rhode Island roots, and we're thrilled to be able to give back."

"We're choosing to focus our estate gifts where they will really matter in the future," Diane adds. "Our hope is that helping to facilitate a good education, at URI, will pave the way for many futures."

Invest in Our Future

Become engaged, support your passion and invest in our future. Consider URI in your financial and estate plans—any size gift. Contact Lindsey Yates-Grimley at 401-874-2042 or for more information.