Charitable Remainder Unitrusts--Joan and George Parker '60
With a laugh, George Parker says, "I was probably about six or eight before I realized the world was not entirely populated by Quakers." Growing up at the Westtown Friends School in Pennsylvania, where his parents were teachers, gave his young life a certain "cocoon-like" quality full of Friends' values. During high school, his family moved from Westtown to Southern California where he met his wife Joan. They have been married 48 years.
For generations, his Quaker forebears were either in business or teaching. And when it came time for college, George by-passed the family tradition of attending Earlham College and, with his parents' encouragement, applied to Haverford and Swarthmore. Accepted by both, he chose Haverford. He says, "it was rather pre-ordained that I would attend a Quaker college. Haverford was the perfect fit".
At Haverford, George took economics courses from Howard Teaf and Holland Hunter, both Quaker professors of economics. George was always impressed by the rich history of Quakers in business exemplified by Quaker companies such as Cadburys, Clarks Shoes, Barclay's Bank in the UK and numerous Quaker companies in the Philadelphia area.
After graduating in 1960, George completed his MBA at Stanford University with a focus on corporate finance. At the time, the military draft was still in place, and he served two years alternative service in the Peace Corps in Peru. With his wife, Joan, at his side, George worked with credit unions and the funding of small businesses in the Andes.
His next path was a brief stint as a banker in Bakersfield, California. George might have stayed in banking but the urge to teach was still within him. He returned to Stanford to earn his Ph.D. in finance at the Graduate School of Business.
George Parker has had a distinguished career at Stanford where he's taught countless MBA courses and has been heavily involved in teaching executive programs in the summer. As the Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Emeritus, George still teaches and next year he'll head a major executive program in Shanghai. The balance of George's professional life is taken up by membership on five public company boards of directors including Continental Airlines and Barclay's Bank mutual funds. During the 1980's George served several terms on Haverford's Board of Managers.
Last year, in recognition of his 35 years of teaching and his time as academic Director of the MBA Program, George was extraordinarily honored by his previous students and other friends who contributed $4 million to endow the George G. C. Parker Chair in Finance at the Graduate School of Business.
The Parkers enjoy a second home in Sun Valley, Idaho, horseback riding, and time with their two sons and five grandsons who live nearby in the San Francisco Bay Area. Travel figures heavily in their lives as they've made many trips to Africa, Asia and Latin America, including several visits to their beloved Peru.
George readily acknowledges the influence Haverford College had on his life and many of the choices he's made. One choice has been to support his alma mater with a Charitable Unitrust. As a professor of finance, he heartily recommends this planned giving vehicle because, "it provides income to my wife and me during our lifetime and benefits the College after we're gone."
If you encounter George and Joan at a Haverford reunion, watch out! They may just bend your ear about including the College in your estate plans. To them, that's a great and worthy path.