Long-Time Educator & Generous Spirit Leaves a Special Legacy

Over her 97 years, Ursula Hubby’s generosity and kindness benefited countless Central New Yorkers. Now, her caring spirit will be carried on through a charitable legacy that will continue to help others for generations.

Ursula loved to teach. That is why she dedicated her 31-year career to shaping the minds of 5th and 6th grade children at Edward Smith and Elmwood Elementary schools in Syracuse. Her colleagues kept her in high regard for her dedication to helping her students succeed. In 1982, Ursula told a Herald-American newspaper reporter that her belief in the value of what she was doing kept her in the profession when others were leaving.

“I was going to retire maybe three years ago and I’ve talked myself out of it every year,” she said at the time. “You have a life to give and it’s kind of nice to look back and feel you’ve done something productive with it.”

Ursula was especially proud when she was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Syracuse University School of Education in 1984, the year she retired.

“If you really like to be with children, if you’re willing to work hard, willing to take the bumps, then teaching can be a rewarding career,” she told the Herald-American. “I don’t think there’s any more important job.”

Her passion for teaching was second only to her love for her family – daughters Pam and Karen and husband of 63 years, Richard Malcom ‘Mal’ Hubby. In their spare time, Ursula and Mal served together as co-presidents of Corcoran High School’s PTSO, which works to ensure the mental, physical and moral development of its students. They were also very active in their church, where Ursula volunteered her time on many committees and its board of trustees, in addition to singing in choir and leading the junior choir.

Music, in particular, played a significant part in Ursula’s life and brought great enrichment to her family. She fondly remembered her times dancing with her husband as members of the Top Hats Dance Club. More recently, she was excited to learn about the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent, a cause that blended two of her passions – education and music. The fund helps performing arts students with financial need reach their fullest potential by funding the expenses of lessons, instruments and other special opportunities. She made a regular pastime of watching Carrie’s television specials and the talented student performers the fund supports.

When Ursula passed away in February, nearly $100,000 was gifted to the Central New York Community Foundation through her will to form two funds that will benefit some of her most cherished causes. The Ursula T. Hubby Fund for the Arts will provide annual support to the Carrie Lazarus Fund for Extraordinary Talent. Her second fund, the Ursula T. Hubby Fund, will support annual responsive grantmaking for disaster relief as well as medical research and support for those suffering from cancer or dementia-related diseases.

Endowment funds are designed to benefit the community in perpetuity. The Community Foundation will use a percentage of Ursula’s funds each year to support the causes that were important to her. The remaining fund balance will be invested, growing to keep up with inflation to increase the annual spendable allowance. Over time, the cumulative amount of grants awarded is expected to surpass the original gift used to seed the fund.

Through an ongoing campaign called 5forCNY, the Community Foundation calls on residents to consider leaving a portion of their estates to its endowment to ensure the continued support of local charities, just as Ursula did.

“People like Ursula put their faith in our ability to honor their charitable intentions,” said Jan Lane, development officer at the Community Foundation. “If others who also love Central New York set aside a portion of their estate for charity, we could greatly improve our region for generations.”

During her lifetime, Ursula focused her career, volunteer efforts and charitable giving on causes that help people during times of greatest need and greatest opportunity. Thanks to her generous and caring spirit, her passions and compassion live on in the programs benefited by her legacy – a legacy that will enable good work to continue for generations to come.

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