A gift for all time...
The Minnesota Historical Society recently received an estate gift from Crystal Clift, whose life-long interest and commitment to history was made manifest as she named the Society as a beneficiary of her Individual Retirement Account.
A graduate of Syracuse University where she also earned a Master's Degree in Library Science, Crystal subsequently obtained a second advanced degree in Information Science from the University of Minnesota. She spent her entire career providing technical information services to major corporations, retiring in 2010 from BAE Systems, where she managed their corporate library system.
A friend shared that Crystal lived long enough to find personal fulfillment both in her chosen field of Library and Information Science and in the simple things like gardening, musicals, classical movies and her cat Misha. Her passion for history led her to find special meaning in volunteering at the Gibbs Farm Museum.
Toward the end of her life, Crystal wrote, "I had not expected to be composing this final section of my will for many years. However life is not as predictable as we might wish. I rather expected another ten to fifteen years to suit my retirement plans. Any regrets? I could have made bolder choices, but I doubt that I would have been happier. Mine was not a big life, but it was a useful one. I did not do wondrous or monumental things, but I do believe I touched many lives in small ways and my life has been worthwhile. My greatest hope is that I will be able to indulge myself in philanthropy."
And so she did. Her bequest to the Minnesota Historical Society strengthens the Society's endowment and will provide a continuing stream of resources for collecting, preserving and telling the story of Minnesota, while also maintaining the History Center and the Society's historic sites. Crystal's life, her values and her philanthropy will continue to touch countless lives and future generations.