Dr. Richard E. Ya Deau ‘53

Dr. Richard E. Ya Deau '53

When his father suffered a debilitating heart attack, Richard Ya Deau ‘53 was certain that college was not in his future. Dr. Ya Deau’s bequest and charitable remainder trust stem from his gratitude to Yale coupled with a concern for students struggling with the cost of education.

Richard Ya Deau matter-of-factly recollects his family’s delicate circumstances. “In 1944, my father, a pharmacist, had a massive heart attack. His ability to work was limited and he needed nitroglycerine just to move around the house. I presumed that his heart attack ended any chance of my attending college.” To the contrary, in 1949, Richard Ya Deau was admitted to the Yale Class of 1953 with a broad, sweeping scholarship and a bursary job. Upon graduation from Yale, he was debt-free.

“The pivotal experience in my life upon which all else was built was Yale, its scholarship, and its education. Yale taught me to think, my subsequent years in the United States Marine Corps taught me to lead, and medical school gave me a trade. Yale remains ‘that special place’ because it reaches so far beyond an education — it prepares one for a lifetime of encounters with all of the elements that make us humane, thoughtful, sentient, hopeful, and fulfilled for the future.”

Although the number of scholarships awarded to students has greatly increased, too many still leave Yale with significant debt. He laments, “Some of these students will compound even more debt with graduate school. With this in mind, I felt it important to include a bequest to the University in my will.”

Dr. Ya Deau’s immense gratitude for his Yale experience prompted an additional commitment that will afford others the scholarship opportunity that changed his life. He and his wife established a charitable remainder unitrust, which will both pay them income for their lifetimes and eventually contribute to the scholarship program. He is particularly satisfied with the ease with which this gift allows his needs to be met.

“The unitrust is a simple vehicle for additional giving as our financial circumstances allow. Yale serves as trustee and manages the trust for our benefit now. Ultimately the trust remainder will fund a scholarship in our names. As a result of our gifts, we are pleased to be recognized as Yale Legacy Partners.”