“We are deeply comforted knowing our parents and grandparents will always be remembered through the University of Georgia, a community that meant a great deal to them, and the many Cioffi-Dill scholars to come.”
– Tara Cioffi Renault
The University of Georgia is near and dear to the Cioffi-Dill Family, and upon the passing of their parents and grandparents, siblings Tara Cioffi Renault and Jim Cioffi (BBA ’92) worked with the university to create a legacy honoring this bond. Throughout their childhoods, Jim and Tara traveled to Athens with their parents Russ and Carol Cioffi and grandparents Carolyn and Howard Dill (BBA ’42). They regularly attended UGA football games. Every time Russ Cioffi entered Sanford Stadium, Tara said that her father “always lamented that UGA wasn’t his alma mater too.”
The one thing Jim and Tara’s father valued more than Georgia Football was education. Based on his own experience, their dad knew that access to quality education changes lives.
Post-secondary education made an indelible mark on the Cioffi family. When Russ’s father was completing his first degree, the generosity of tuition assistance enabled him to finish and attend medical school. This act of philanthropy changed the trajectory of the Cioffi Family. Without that generous donation, Jim and Tara’s grandfather would not have reached his full potential by becoming a medical doctor. This financial aid created a spirit of philanthropy in Jim and Tara, and a desire to pay it forward through scholarship support for others wanting to pursue a college education.
Upon the passing of their stepmother, Carol Cioffi, Tara and Jim inherited Carol’s family home in Waycross, Georgia. With no remaining ties to that community, Tara and Jim are selling the home and donating the proceeds to UGA to establish the Cioffi-Dill Family Scholarship to support students with a financial need from Ware and Dekalb counties.
This gift’s impact is even greater through a match by the Georgia Commitment Scholarship program. Georgia Commitment Scholarship (GCS) was created in 2016 to grow the number of need-based scholarships awarded to UGA students. All GCS funds are endowed, meaning they will be awarded in perpetuity, helping students for generations to come. Jim thought the GCS match was a great way of uniting through philanthropy. He said, “We couldn’t pass up this opportunity!”
“Because of our family’s close ties to UGA and the way scholarship support changed the trajectory of our family, we have always dreamed of creating an endowed scholarship, but honestly didn’t know how we would be able to do this,” Tara explained. “The fundraising staff at the university are here to help. There are so many ways to make a gift that will be deeply meaningful to you, both now, or in the future, through your estate plans. We are deeply comforted knowing our parents and grandparents will always be remembered through the University of Georgia, a community that meant a great deal to them, and the many Cioffi-Dill scholars to come.”