To say that Glenn and MiDori Allen have a love affair with the University of Tennessee Chattanooga basketball and football teams is an understatement.
To say the Allens have a love affair that began while they were undergraduates at UTC — and includes Mocs athletics — gets to the heart of the matter.
Shortly after graduating from UTC in 1979, Glenn made a financial contribution to the university’s athletics department.
Every year since then he has donated to the Mocs – a span that has reached 43 years.
A recent investment in the program that he and his wife, MiDori, have chosen to continue will ensure that the annual streak will continue indefinitely.
The Allens included the UTC athletics department in their estate plan, creating a substantial planned gift called the Glenn and MiDori Allen Endowed Athletics Scholarship.
As an endowed gift, contributions will continue to be made in the couple’s name, serving as a permanent tribute to the Allens and extending the value of the scholarship for future generations.
“It’s hard to put into words the selflessness and generosity of Glenn and MiDori, who have had a lifelong connection and impact on UTC,” said Mark Wharton, Vice-Chancellor of UTC and Director of Athletics. “Their act of ensuring UTC Athletics continues to move forward for generations to come is a humble gesture and one that will help shape the future of our student-athletes through their successes at UTC.”
The Allens’ philanthropic efforts were recently recognized by Mocs Athletics, with the pair joining Wharton on the basketball court during a break in the Feb. 5 Mocs contest against Furman.
“The Allens aim to change the lives of young people and their goal aligns perfectly with ours at UTC. We cannot thank them enough for their intention to provide student-athlete scholarships forever,” Wharton said.
* * * * *
While their time on campus overlapped as UTC business students—Glenn earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1979 and MiDori earned that same degree in 1980—Greek life brought them together.
That, and their shared interest in Mocs athletics.
They met in 1978; Glenn was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, while former MiDori Benton was in the Pi Beta Phi sorority and a darling of Sigma Chi.
During his fraternity days, Glenn’s little brother was David Hall; David’s father, Arthur, devoted a great deal of time and energy to fundraising for the athletic department and selling season tickets.
“Shortly after graduating,” Glenn recalled, “Art called me and said, ‘You have to buy season football tickets this year and you have to join the Mocs Club. Tickets will be half price your first five years to engage alumni. .’
“A group of us who had just graduated collected tickets and held them for several years at Chamberlain Field.”
That call came in 1979. The precedent for providing financial support for athletics was set.
Even early in their dating, MiDori joined Glenn in attending Mocs sporting events.
“We used to go out together, but he paid for everything,” recalls MiDori.
They married in 1985.
“He’s a good person he is,” she continued. “I wanted to get married when we were 23, but he wouldn’t ask me. All my friends were getting married and I felt like an old maid.
“Well, guess what? They didn’t stay married. We got married when I was 27, and we’re still together 36 years later.”
“Patience and perseverance pays off,” Glenn said. “It’s not a fast race, it’s a slow race. We’re here for the long haul.”
The long term has included many trips to campus for basketball games.
“We’ve had basketball season tickets since The Roundhouse opened,” Glenn said of McKenzie Arena, home of the Mocs hoops since 1982.
“I love it,” MiDori said.
MiDori had a 34-year career at CHI Memorial Hospital in physician relations. Glenn held various accounting positions before entering the automotive industry as a controller for an automotive dealership. He even returned to campus in the mid-1990s to take accounting classes and take the CPA exam.
Both had no children and said they kept their living expenses low.
“We’re not fancy people,” Glenn said, “except for cars and golf.”
“And pets,” MiDori added.
When they realized they were financially secure, the Allens began to think about ways to make a difference.
Leaving a substantial contribution to the University that started them seemed like the perfect gift.
* * * * *
The Allens are down to earth and private people. For them, the turnover of their donation should concern no one else.
When they chose to create the planned gift, however, they agreed to discuss “why”, as in “Why is this such an important thing?” »
It’s about helping others and paying for what the institution has done for them, Glenn said. They want to inspire others to follow their example.
“You may not be able to do what we did,” he explained, “but if you left money in your estate for an endowment with the University, it will multiply over time. Fifteen or 20 years later, you’ll win ‘I won’t be here to reap the rewards, but the children and grandchildren who come here will.’
“Why is this important to us? Midori asked. “We want to give someone else a chance to get started in life. Look at student loans and things like that; scholarships give someone else the opportunity to pursue a career without having a terrible debt after four years of college.”
There is also a cash component to the endowment, allowing the Allens to visit current students receiving the scholarship bearing their name.
“We hope this will give us the opportunity to mentor and help a young person get our scholarship,” Glenn said. “To meet them and have them say, ‘Glenn and MiDori, how did you get to where you are today? How can I get there?’
“Sometimes you listen to adults give you the same answers as your parents, but you don’t listen to your parents.”
The Allens will continue to explain to others why planned giving is important and how people can leave a legacy after they die.
“As the old saying goes,” Glenn said, “if you give it will come back to you 10 times over. I’ve definitely been through that in my life.
“MiDori and I have seen friends of ours experience this by sharing their chance to give gifts for educational purposes and we have learned this from them. Now we are trying to pass on these lessons learned to others.”