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For the Love of Stanford
Like so many young adults and their parents during the turbulent '60s, Cathleen "Cathy" Caballero, '70, and her father disagreed about everything—politics, the role of women, the war in Vietnam—everything except their alma mater. At Stanford they found common ground.
"My dad called it esprit de corps—a sense of belonging," Caballero says. "That was my background: a notion of belonging to Stanford."
Caballero is now honoring her father by giving back to the place where the two saw eye to eye. She has named the university as a beneficiary of a charitable remainder unitrust, which provides income to her now and will support Stanford in the future.
Growing Up Cardinal
Stanford was a constant presence in Caballero’s childhood in Southern California, especially during football season. Every time Stanford played the Bruins or the Trojans, she and her father, Harold "Cabby" Caballero, ’35, could be found in the stands at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Later, Caballero found herself cheering for the Cardinal inside Stanford Stadium as a member of the Class of 1970—and then down on the field next to the band. The day she became a Dollie was one of the highlights of her years on campus. Cathy had long admired the squad and was thrilled to cheer on the Cardinal while dancing to the latest hits.
"We had so much fun. The Stanford band was so good—they played Marvin Gaye and the Beatles," she recalled. "They were so far ahead of any other band."
Her father, too, had a soft spot for Stanford athletics. A member of Stanford's boxing team as a student, Cabby was an avid booster of the school's athletic programs until his death in 1995. He served as vice chair of the university's first significant fundraising campaign, PACE (Plan of Action for a Challenging Era), launched in 1960. And he proudly displayed a sandstone brick, reportedly left over from building the Quad, in his Pacific Palisades home, where he and his wife hosted Stanford events for Southern California alumni.
Cabby, who earned his degree in economics at Stanford, had been a successful businessman, first as a developer of drive-in movie theaters with his father, and later as the founder of a residential and commercial real estate firm. His dedication to giving back made an impression on his daughter, as did his devotion to the university.
"I knew I'd lived a privileged life, and part of my way of looking at the world was to contribute," Caballero says.
Honoring Their Shared History
Caballero decided to make a planned gift after learning about various lifetime gift options through her 40th class reunion. She realized that a charitable remainder unitrust offers many benefits, including income payments for life as well as significant tax advantages. Caballero also learned that she could direct the remainder funds toward a cause near to her heart. After her lifetime, funds in her charitable remainder trust will support programs at Stanford that address issues confronting women in developing countries.
Besides the financial advantages, Caballero says choosing Stanford as a beneficiary in her estate plans simply made sense. "I know I'll get my bang for the buck. I know Stanford will be around and the university does—and will continue to do— incredible things," she says.
Today, Caballero lives on a farm in Montana, where she raises yaks, rescues donkeys, and rides horses. This past winter she camped in an Airstream trailer in Arizona to escape the snow. Wherever she is, the income from the trust supports the way she has chosen to live her life—simply, and in a way that is very meaningful to her.
Caballero says there is more to her decision than she first realized. "The money I inherited was from my dad. I was a beneficiary of his largesse," she says. "Giving back to the university is fitting because he felt so strongly about supporting Stanford."
If his free-spirited daughter could, she would tell her by-the-book father: "'Well, Dad, I know there were a lot of things we didn’t agree on, but this is one we do.' Stanford was our common ground."