Trust in WAMU Inspires Couple’s Gift

Bob and Barbara Hall

Bob and Barbara Hall

Bob and Barbara Hall's long careers are proof of their deep belief in the power of philanthropy.

Bob, a private practice lawyer in Washington, D.C., specialized in planning and administering trusts and estates, including advising clients on the many options for charitable giving. Most of Barbara's career of more than four decades was dedicated to fundraising, including 15 years as vice president of development at NPR.

Now, both retired, that lifelong commitment to philanthropy is reflected in their decision to include WAMU, American University Radio in their estate plan to help ensure the future of an organization they value. They have chosen to name WAMU as one of the beneficiaries of an IRA.

Barbara was born in Washington, D.C., attended Mary Washington College and loves living in the District. Her career in development began in 1981 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She went on to become chief development officer at NPR before taking on that role at The Phillips Collection and The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Bob grew up in Tidewater, Virginia and practiced law in the Washington area after graduating from law schools at the University of Virginia and Georgetown University.

"We support WAMU because we've listened to public radio since its beginnings in the 70s," he says. "We're news junkies, and the station is a lifeline to everything from international reporting to local news. In the car, driving to the beach or wherever, we listen to the morning and evening news shows, 1A with Joshua Johnson and The Kojo Nnamdi Show."

"We also love the quirky shows," adds Barbara. "Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me, Here and Now, Ask Me Another, Freakonomics and Radio Lab. I remember what I hear on WAMU. They may be stories you might never have sought out, but they enrich your life. And I like that the station is connecting with the local community more and more."

They say it is a daily relationship built on trust.

"At a time when news is disseminated in so many different ways, you have to turn to news outlets you trust. And for us, it is public radio," Barbara says. "People go to public broadcasting to get the story behind the headlines: the who, what, how, why. Plus the experience of listening to radio is intimate. You feel as if you know the people whose voices you hear every day. You really do feel like it's family."

Both are still active in philanthropy. Since retiring in 2015, Bob volunteers with Georgetown Village, a non-profit dedicated to helping seniors age in place with transportation and other support services. He also audits classes on public policy at Georgetown University and sings — "for fun."

Barbara retired in 2013 but continues to help with fundraising as a Trustee of The Phillips Collection where she chairs the Board's Centennial Campaign and Development Committee. She also serves on an advisory board at her college.

"Having spent much of my life in philanthropy," says Barbara, "I understand the power of philanthropy to do good in the world and the power of planned giving, which allows individuals who can't give as much during their lifetime to give out of their assets."

"We give to organizations we believe in and believe are important to many others," says Bob.

"We give where our interests are" Barbara adds. "And WAMU is high on our list."

Uncover the Power of Giving Back

Like the Halls, you can make a future gift to ensure WAMU, American University Radio and its programming continues for years to come . Contact Eliza Saunders at 202-885-8904 or to learn more.