Creative Financing Provides More for Muhlenberg
Muhlenberg College played an important part in almost every aspect of the personal and professional life of Christina Coviello '02. She attributes her undergraduate experience to guiding her career and making and keeping close friends for life.
A first-generation college student, Christina began giving back to her alma mater as a volunteer and donor since she made her first $20.02 senior class gift. A member of the Loyalty Society for her 19 consecutive years of giving, she recently opened a donor-advised fund so that she will have budgeted sustaining gifts to Muhlenberg.
"I love Muhlenberg. I had just such a wonderful experience there. I secretly wish it was closer to where I'm from because I do think I'd be back on campus more," said Christina, who lives in Massachusetts and tri-chairs the New England Regional Alumni Association committee with Ed Kutchin '75 and Sarah Grube '03. Having joined the Alumni Board in July, Christina hopes to return to campus more for board meetings.
Graduating with a degree in communications and a minor in Spanish, Christina recounts how she was qualified for her first job as a marketing specialist at Mellon Financial Corporation because she knew how to manage a budget because of her role as treasurer of the College's student council. And the leadership skills that she learned as president of Phi Sigma Sigma helped too.
Influenced by her role as a student worker in the Admissions Office during her senior year, Christina returned to academia and accepted her second position at Boston University's Financial Assistance Office where she worked for 13 years counseling students and their families on how to afford college. While there, she earned her M.Ed. in policy, planning, and administration in 2010.
In her current role as a financial consultant with Fidelity Investments, Christina once again advises on financial planning but now also on building retirement portfolios and other monetary goals for clients. She decided to benefit from Fidelity's matching donor-advised fund employee program herself and plans to make annual contributions to the fund in the future. Because she designated Muhlenberg as the beneficiary of the fund in a planned gift, she receives a tax benefit and automatically became a member of The Circle of 1848 society.
"I felt that I was giving money anyway, so why not have the opportunity for some growth in the market over time? If I'm able to do that, and have more money at the end of the day or at the end of my life to give, then that is great," said Christina. "Who knows, maybe the fund will be enough to put my name on a building."
In the meantime, Christina will continue to help plan her class reunion as she has done since graduation, keep her consecutive giving streak to Mulementum ("Because donor participation also helps our rankings!"), wear her Muhlenberg sweatshirt with pride, and be an unwavering alumna in her commitment to the campus she considers home.
"I continue to love Muhlenberg and its people. Everybody really cares about each other and looks out for each other, whether they're a student, staff, or a faculty member," said Christina, who received Muhlenberg's Young Alumna Achievement Award in 2008 for her contributions. "I think it's all part of one big community. I am so really proud to be a part of that."