An “American Legacy” that may be your most important gift.
If you are ready to contribute now, you can donate online:
If you prefer not to donate online, your gift may be mailed to:
Emily Koons, Manager, Development and Communication
The Jack Miller Center
111 Presidential Boulevard, Suite 146
Philadelphia, PA 19004
You can also email email@example.com or call 484-436-2064
The Ethical Will
The Ethical Will can capture your “hopes and dreams” for your children and your “thoughts on the importance of contributing to the world.”
Nicole Brodeur writes compellingly in the May 1, 2009, Seattle Times about Joshua Isaac, who struggles with cancer that has already cost him his left hand. He tells that story in a film, “My Left Hand,” which last year won multiple prizes at film festivals in the Northwest.
Ms. Brodeur writes that the “validation has helped, especially since the cancer is back, this time in Isaac’s lungs. But he is hopeful, undergoing new treatments and working on another film — an ‘ethical will’ for his three children.
‘It’s my hopes and dreams for them,’ he said. ‘My thoughts on the importance of contributing to the world.’”
All of us want to leave a legacy for our families and our community. When we are able, we want to leave behind resources that can sustain those we love during future difficulties or provide them opportunities based on our achievements.
Usually we think about leaving a material legacy. But perhaps the most important legacy we can leave … the legacy that can do the most to sustain our children, grandchildren, and our communities … is an articulation of the values and ideas that have meant the most to us and shaped our lives. You can provide that legacy through an “ethical will.”
In this document you can tell the story of where you learned the lessons that were the most important to you, including the story of the teachers and professors who shaped your thinking and introduced you to the excitement of learning. You can tell the story of your encounter with authors, whose books expanded your understanding. Most of all, you can tell the story of how those ideas and values influenced your life.
At the Jack Miller Center we are grateful for the financial contributions that allow us to support the work of college and university professors across our nation, who are committed to communicating the American experience to our future leaders. However, we invite you to share with us more than your financial support. We are interested in your intellectual “legacy” should you choose to prepare an ethical will. We believe such a document will not only mean much to your heirs, but that it can make the great ideas that animate our free institutions truly compelling for others.
There are a number of websites that provide advice on how to prepare an ethical will. You can visit sites such as
If your ethical will involves the contribution a professor made in shaping your thinking and opening new opportunities for you, or if it touches on America’s founding principles, such as personal freedom, property rights, equality before the law, and freedom of religion, let us hear from you. Those great ideas that have been stated and restated generation after generation have literally shaped the lives of millions of Americans. However, those ideas are only as compelling as the story of how they made a difference in individual lives. If you are willing to share your ethical legacy, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 1-484-436-2069.
See http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nicolebrodeur/2009155105_brodeur01m.html for the full article on Mr. Isaac in the Seattle Times.