Philanthropy

Anne HildebrandAnne Hildebrand both manages and works at the Oakmont Gardens country store, where residents can shop for their immediate needs.

And Speaking of Generosity…

Anne Hildebrand finds great satisfaction in providing academic scholarships to students


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The first thing you notice about Anne Hildebrand is how well spoken she is. Not only are her diction and grammar impeccable, the timbre of her voice is “radio quality.” She has often been mistaken for Eve Arden, who played Our Miss Brooks on both radio and television, and actually was herself a radio actress during WWII. You can’t spend much time with her, however, without discovering how generous she is. SSU is fortunate to count her among its most enthusiastic supporters.

Anne met SSU because she initiated a conversation on an airport shuttle bus with an associate of the University. They were talking about family heirlooms—in Anne’s case a pair of 3 ft. tall exquisite Japanese royal burial urns crafted in 1870 in the early Meiji period and passed down through her family. Although she had grown up with the urns and treasured them, she was now downsizing and they didn’t suit her children’s homes. Two weeks after this bus ride, Anne made the decision to donate the lovely ceramic urns to the University.

But the urns were just the beginning. japanese royal burial urnSoon Anne was funding pre-med scholarships, and then, when she sold her house, she established a charitable gift annuity (a donation that pays the donor an annual income during his or her lifetime and reverts to Sonoma State upon the donor’s death) to perpetuate her scholarship aid. It will fund four scholarships a year, one of which will be for a foreign student. In 2004 she bought shares in the Seawolf Stables racehorse fundraiser that benefited Sonoma State’s athletic scholarships, and then began making frequent donations to the women’s athletic program. She is a member of the University’s Nichols Founders’ Society as a result of her charitable gift annuity.

Why is she so generous to SSU? Says Anne, “Although I’m a third generation San Franciscan, Santa Rosa is now my home and I want to support local causes. Education and young people were as important to my husband as they are to me.” She adds, “I’m very careful to give only to organizations I know will honor my wishes and use my gifts as I intend them to be used.” Among the benefits of giving that she enjoys most are the many friends she has made in the process.

Several generous Anne Hildebrand scholarships are awarded annually to SSU juniors majoring in health—mainly nursing—because, she says, “Sonoma State has a fine nursing department and good nurses are so important.” Anne has a hand in selecting the recipients and takes a great interest in “her students.”

Anne Hildebrand, a lady of a certain age, is still incredibly active. In addition to her many friends and dearly loved family—four children and eight grandchildren—she is devoted to duplicate bridge, which she plays several times a week. She is also the prime mover of the Oakmont Gardens country store—a sort of quickie mart solely for the residents of her apartment complex, is an announcer for the Oakmont Gardens closed cable TV station, and belongs to a drama reading group. Once an avid traveler who saw most of the world with her dear husband Edward (Hilde) Hildebrand, she now stays closer to home, surrounded by exceptional Oriental antiques, her father’s charming watercolors, and family memorabilia. She’s proud of her heritage and grateful she is able to share her good fortune with others.

For information about how to become a member of the Sonoma State University family, contact the Development Office at 707 664-2712 or development.office@sonoma.edu.