by Buck Institute

Honoring Carole Bennett’s Legacy Gift to the Buck

Carole Bennett was a force of nature. Born in 1943, she rejected many of the conventions that kept women of that era from exploring their adventurous natures. She modeled while in college. Right after getting her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, she hitchhiked through Europe. She changed careers often, enjoyed an active social life, and ended up with a PhD in Education. She bought land near Annadel State Park in Santa Rosa and raised llamas.

Carole finished her career at Santa Rosa Junior College where she pioneered the use of online education. By that time she lived in Novato with her husband Norman Ciampi. After retiring she volunteered for the local police department, and was active in Soroptimist International of Novato, helping to improve the lives of women and girls.

Before the pandemic Carole was a regular presence at the Buck where she was on a first name basis with many of our scientists. She was best known for her service in our Learning Center. For ten years, she was the Chair of the North Bay Science Discovery Day, which provides a serious enrichment experience of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities for kids. The event, co-sponsored by the Buck, usually welcomed over 15,000 visitors, many of them Latino families. In 2019, the North Bay Business Journal honored Carole for her dedication and leadership.

“Carole was most excited about supporting minority children and giving them an opportunity to appreciate science,” says Ciampi. “Putting on that event every year was a huge amount of effort, but she so enjoyed working with the young scientists at the Buck who were eager to share their enthusiasm with kids who aren’t regularly exposed to science.”

Carole was strong supporter of other programs at the Buck, contributing more than $150,000 over her lifetime. She was an active participant in the Impact Circle and helped fund programs that supported women in science. Because of this lifelong commitment, it was essential for Carole to include the Buck in her estate plan.  When she passed away in July 2021, she left a generous planned gift of $40,000 and also arranged for the proceeds from the sale of her Tesla to be included in her bequest  

“Carole always wanted to give back and the Buck was always high on her list,” says Ciampi. “She understood the promise of the science and she really enjoyed interacting with the staff and scientists.   She loved making a difference and I’m glad she made the decision to support the Buck in her legacy planning.” 

There are many ways to create a legacy

“We are so grateful to donors who choose to support the Buck as part of their last wishes,” says Bobbie Chapman, the Buck’s Director of Private Philanthropy. “We are especially grateful that Carole informed us of her legacy intentions during her lifetime, as it gave us the opportunity to express our appreciation in person.” 

Chapman points out that there are a variety of way to make a bequest to the Buck, whether a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or the remainder after you have provided for your loved ones. Legacy gifts, like Carole's, have the power to transform and accelerate research at the Buck. These special gifts give Buck scientists the ability to pursue new lines of thought and investigation in their search for ways to help us all live healthier, longer lives. For more information on Legacy gifts, contact bchapman@buckinstitute.org.

Science is showing that while chronological aging is inevitable, biological aging is malleable. There's a part of it that you can fight, and we are getting closer and closer to winning that fight.

Eric Verdin, MD, Buck Institute President and CEO

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