Paying it Forward: Betsy and Roger Joyce

Joyce, Academy at the Lakes
She considers herself “a professional student.” He believes that knowledge is power. It’s no wonder, then, that education is among their top priorities when it comes to giving.
Betsy and Roger Joyce have a long family history with independent schools. They graduated from Chaffee and Kingswood, respectively, and they sent their own children to independent schools as well. Even their parents attended independent schools.
So when it came time to help find the right school for their grandchildren, the Joyces quickly narrowed in on Academy at the Lakes.
“We were looking for a school to help nurture confidence and character in our grandchildren,” said Betsy. “We were looking for common values and we love the way Academy’s teachers interact with their students. Students are expected to be polite and kind and live out the school’s core values.”
Added Roger: “Raising children has to be done as a team and the school is an integral part of that team. A mother can’t do it herself. We can’t do it ourselves. Teachers see the children more hours during the day than parents do, so I like the involvement of the teachers and (Head of School) Mark Heller.”
The Joyces have two grandchildren attending Academy, Roger ’17 and Chelsea ’19, and a granddaughter who is an Academy graduate, Ashley ’13.
Now retired, the Joyces stay involved in the community with Roger serving on the Florida Hospital-Tampa Foundation board and Betsy serving on the Academy at the Lakes board.
Through Roger’s involvement with the hospital foundation, he learned of different ways people were making substantial gifts to the hospital.
“We have watched our grandchildren grow over time at Academy, and we really believe in the leadership and vision for the school,” said Roger. “We decided we wanted to do something for Academy by donating a life insurance policy.”
The Joyces elected to purchase a $189,000 universal life policy of which Academy is the owner and beneficiary. The Joyces pay the policy premium as part of their Annual Fund contribution each year. And because the premium is paid directly to the school, it is also a tax-deductible contribution for the Joyces.
“It feels great to be able to make such a positive impact,” said Betsy. “I just try to avoid banana peels if I can.”
As recognition for pledging Academy’s first-ever planned gift, the school will name the Music Studio in honor of the Joyce family.
Given Chelsea’s love of band and Betsy’s background in musicology (she has a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D.), it is a most fitting way to say “thank you” for what will be a transformational gift to Academy at the Lakes.
Having a building named in their honor was a pleasant surprise to the Joyces, who never dreamed they could leave such a legacy at Academy.
Said Betsy: “I thought, I really love this school. I would really love to help this school. I want to pay it forward. It’s doing a whole lot for my grandkids, and I want someone else’s grandkids to have this same opportunity. We want it to serve as an example for other grandparents.”