Dr. & Mrs. Merle F. Crossland Family Fund

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Merle Crossland has many interests. A retired general surgeon, he has served as president of a music association, a member of a community beautification organization, and on boards of a school, a library foundation, the United Way, a nursing home and more.

So, why did he establish a fund with his Community Foundation?

“I like the quote that says, ‘You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give,’” he replies. “When the Community Foundation appeared, I liked the concept because it was magnanimous. As you get older, you think about what matters and how you might make an impact. I had stock that had appreciated significantly, and gifting it was a good way to do this and easier than setting up a private foundation. It also provided a tax benefit.”

The Community Foundation is donor-centered, so Dr. Crossland, like all donors, was asked what he wanted the fund to accomplish and where he wanted it to make an impact.

“I have a strong leaning toward the arts. As a physician, I know that a community without arts is a difficult one to recruit people, and we are fortunate to have strong backing in that area. I had also supported the cancer center and others, but as I thought about the type of fund, I realized that at this point in my life if I restricted the fund it would cut out the opportunity to benefit other worthwhile organizations,” he says.

Because he established an unrestricted endowment fund, the Community Foundation has the flexibility to determine best use of the grant monies to serve a broad spectrum of needs and opportunities across the region.

Family also played a part in his fund establishment, Dr. Crossland says. He was raised in a large family in Bowen, Illinois. He and wife Ann, a Quincy native, settled in Quincy in 1963. The fund is not about him and his wife, he says, because their three children and numerous grandchildren are important factors in the fund’s future.

“This is a way to get (family) involved that has meaning in my life,” he said. “I believe this is a concept that you want to generate in your offspring. Building this or other funds is a mechanism to recognize and mark special events while helping others.”

Merle Crossland has set an example that will make an impact long after his grandchildren are grown.


Anyone can make a gift to any fund at any time to help it grow. To make a gift to the Dr. & Mrs. Merle F. Crossland Family Fund, please click here.