Bequest Provides Scholarships for Generations to Come

As a philosophy major, Elissa (Lisa) Getto ’69 had no idea that her education was preparing her for a rich series of careers as an educator, musician and ultimately president of such renowned performing arts centers as Florida’s Ruth Eckerd Hall; Stamford, Connecticut’s, Palace Theater; and Virginia’s Wolf Trap.

“Why was I able to change careers two or three times?” Lisa said. “Why has Smith’s relevance to my life never been more obvious?”

At Smith, Lisa participated in all things musical. She sang. She accompanied. She conducted. She was mentored by the beloved Iva Dee Hiatt, who taught her not only music but also a practical crash course in arts management.

“I just feel good about leaving money to Smith. It is not the same Smith as when I was there. It is a better Smith.”

“Thinking back to my career as CEO of performing arts centers, it was all Smith,” Lisa said. “My junior and senior years with Dee, she had me producing concerts as manager of the Glee Club and, as treasurer of the Smith-Princeton Chamber Singers, dealing with the finances of tours to Europe and Mexico. Smith nurtured my intellect and gave me the skills to be flexible.”

Now Lisa is giving back by leaving a bequest to the college in her estate. This generous gift will provide merit-based scholarships in perpetuity. As Reunion co-chair for her class’s upcoming 50th, she is delighted that Smith’s bequest intention policy allows 50 percent of this bequest to count toward the class’s Reunion total.

Lisa spoke of her impressions from a recent trip to campus. “I just feel good about leaving money to Smith,” she said. “It is not the same Smith as when I was there. It is a better Smith. This is one of the most positive, most reaffirming things you can do not only for your institution but also for your own life.”

To learn more about leaving a gift to Smith in your will, visit our website or contact the Office of Gift Planning at or 800-241-2056, option 5.

Lisa Getto

Elissa (Lisa) Getto ’69