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Susan Files Conley ’67: Empowering Women Through Scholarship

Susan Files Conley

Lisa Kroeger Murtha 1988

When Susan (Sue) Files Conley’s father passed away, she wanted to honor his memory using the money he left behind. Knowing he’d spent his life mentoring less fortunate children and sponsoring scholarships at his own alma mater, Iowa State University, Sue began thinking of deserving places to donate. Hathaway Brown School immediately came to mind.

Sue attended Hathaway Brown School from seventh grade through graduation. The things she treasured most about those years were her amazing friendships and the traditions—big and small. She has fond memories of Carnival, the May Queen ceremony, Ideo, Bless This House, “the brown and yellow jumper” she wore each day to school, “getting announcements every morning in chapel from Miss Coburn” and the traditional white gowns at graduation. Sue also, with great appreciation, remembers the fact that at Hathaway Brown School, “you weren’t just a number. The teachers were always pushing you to do your best and they really cared about all of us.”

Her first undergraduate degree, from the University of North Carolina, was a Bachelor of Arts in Religion. She later earned a nursing degree, studying first at Case Western Reserve and completing her BSN degree at California State University, Long Beach. She then spent 28 years as a school nurse at an elementary school, K-8, in Merced, California, where she and her husband have lived since 1978. They also have three grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Nursing is a career that helped Sue develop “compassion for and kindness toward others,” she says. Last May, just after her 50th reunion, Sue drew on those same qualities when she decided to establish an endowed scholarship for Conley Scholars—Upper School students with demonstrated financial need. She also decided to become a member of the Mary Raymond Legacy Society by naming Hathaway Brown in her will. Not only was she “astounded at what a phenomenal educational institution HB has become,” she also “loved the fact that HB is empowering women to excel in life, be all they are meant to be, and give back to the world they live in.”

Best of all, she’s ensured that her father’s spirit of providing exceptional education for others will live on for years to come.

The joy and benefit of a Hathaway Brown education is a gift that lasts a lifetime. Designating Hathaway Brown as a beneficiary in your will or trust is a wonderful way to honor the value of that educational experience, while helping to make it possible for generations of young women to come. For more information on this planned giving opportunity, please contact Terry Kurtz at 216-320-8799 or tkurtz@hb.edu.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hathaway Brown School a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Hathaway Brown School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Hathaway Brown School or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hathaway Brown School as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hathaway Brown School as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Hathaway Brown School where you agree to make a gift to Hathaway Brown School and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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