Sharing Your Blessings Beyond Your Lifetime

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Dear Alexander Graham Bell Community,

Every once in a while, I find myself going through our morning mail delivery. Yesterday was a particularly busy mail day due to the encroaching deadline for college scholarship applications. Stacks of paper rose halfway to the ceiling, laden with more than 150 applications and their supporting documentation.

I was excited by the level of participation we received. Education, particularly higher education is critical to the success of young adults because it opens the door to opportunities they might not otherwise have. As grateful as I am for the opportunity to support next generation, I also know that we will not be able to grant a scholarship to every deserving applicant in that pile. In times like these, I find myself wishing I had another stack of envelopes full of donations to fulfill the dreams of every single one of those applicants.

Then, right when we needed him, a hero came to our rescue. I received a message later that day that Richard Zellerbach had made AG Bell a central figure of his estate planning. Richard was a lifelong, active advocate for AG Bell and for the deaf and hard of hearing. His estate will be passing on a generous bequest to AG Bell to support college scholarships for young children and adults with hearing loss.

Richard, a Stanford graduate and avid Cardinal fan, was a tireless champion of everything that AG Bell works for - he raised funds for countless AG Bell programs, including Leadership Opportunities for Teens. He co-founded AG Bell's Deaf Adult section in 1964. Richard served on the board of many other organizations for the deaf, endlessly dedicated to advocating for access and equal rights for individuals with hearing loss.

Richard made certain that our scholarship programs will be well-supported, for he knew how critical it is to support higher education for young adults with hearing loss. For any young adult, higher education can be a daunting ordeal. At a time when institutions are getting more and more competitive, young people feel more closely judged than ever. They feel the pressure to succeed because they've been told time and again that these colleges and universities hold the keys to success in life. Now in particular, young adults require support and encouragement. This is why we are grateful for the kindness and generosity of members like Richard for their contributions.



Daniel Gonzalez - College Scholarship Recipient

AG Bell's financial aid programs would not be possible without supporters like Richard. His gift means the world to us, but it will mean even more to the dreamers it supports on their educational journey. To learn more about planned giving with AG Bell, please visit our legacy planning page. To start your impact on the young lives of dreamers today, consider making a donation to our financial aid and scholarships fund.

The AG Bell college scholarship program application deadline is this Friday, March 10. If you know a college student with hearing loss who might benefit from AG Bell's support - from Richard's support - let them know before it's too late! Without you, AG Bell is not possible. Thanks to your support and participation, the vision of a society where hearing loss is not an obstacle to education, to ambition, to communication with the wider world, is very much alive.

Thank you for your words of support. I am always available to you at and at 202-337-5220.

Until next week,


Emilio Alonso-Mendoza


As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.

Mary Anne Radmacher