ELIZABETH “LIBBY” WARREN BACKOFEN ’46 HAS A PLAN
Retired Scientist’s Gift will Support Science Education at Simmons
Elizabeth “Libby” Warren Backofen ’46 is passionate about science.
“Science is the future of civilization,” says Backofen, adding, “Everyone should know the Periodic Table.”
Backofen is also passionate about Simmons. So when it was time to plan for her estate, she decided to leave it all to the College and stipulated that her gift be used to establish an endowed chair or scholarship in biology, chemistry, physics, or mathematics. In that way, her planned gift to the Making Education Work Campaign will ultimately support a top Strategy 2015 priority: further strengthening the undergraduate College.
“I want the money to do some good, and I know that will happen at Simmons,” says Backofen. Planned-giving staff at the College helped her arrange a more-than $200,000 gift annuity and formalize the provision for Simmons in her will. Backofen’s estate includes the 650-acre New Hampshire farm where she and her late husband Al grew apples, blueberries, and Christmas trees. She still lives there.
The Backofens met at MIT. Her 25-year career at the institute included working as a radiochemist. Her husband was a pioneering professor of metallurgy and materials science.
Backofen once considered becoming a nurse, but found her true calling in Simmons science labs. “I was very good in the lab–less so with book work. But I made it through well enough,” says Backofen, who’s pleased her gifts to the College will help generations of aspiring scientists prepare for life’s work just as she did.