The concept of “paying it forward” is an ageless expression of kindness, appreciation and generosity, and for these Concordians, it’s a way to make an impact on future generations.
Anna (Herbst) Bolha, senior physician assistant with clinical oncology at Flatiron Health, graduated from Concordia University Wisconsin in 2002 with a degree in biology. She was the recipient of the Emeritus Scholarship, which provided full-tuition and room and board for her undergraduate studies at CUW.
“This gift changed the trajectory of my life and at an impressionable age, illustrated in a deeply personal way how generosity can be a tool to counterbalance privilege and promote equal outcomes for all,” she said. “We hope our gift to Concordia might lessen a burden, level the playing field, or open doors for a future student in the same way the Emeritus Scholarship impacted me.”
Anna and her husband, Matthew, created the Mathew and Anna Bolha Endowment for juniors and seniors who have a GPA of 3.5 or above. They decided to fund the endowment through a life insurance policy for which Concordia University is the beneficiary. Through this giving vehicle, the Bolhas pay the premium, and when they pass, Concordia receives the value of the life insurance, which will fund the scholarship endowment.
“We are not independently wealthy, so pragmatically, this was a way to stretch our relatively small contribution into something more impactful,” Anna explained. “The Advancement office taught us so much about financial tools and opened our minds to possibilities we didn’t even know existed.”
Anna acknowledged that by giving through the vehicle of life insurance, she would not be around to see her gift come to fruition. But her husband, Matthew, learned from an early age from his father (Dan Bolha, MBA ’05) that the practice of tithing is an act of worship.
“For us, it’s less about who or what we give to, and more about being givers. We are grateful to live lives beyond whatever we dreamed or imagined,” Anna said. “Our gratitude is the legacy we hope to leave behind.”
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