Memorial Funds

I spent the first half of 2012 working with Spring Arbor University to set up memorial endowments to remember and honor the legacy of Sara Jean Cole and Miranda Evangelene Cole. The establishment of these endowments was a long and bittersweet process. Seeing them come to fruition brings great joy, because of the hope they bring with them, even as our families continue to work through our grief and sadness.

Part of the challenge was coming up with endowments that honor who Sara was as a person and who Miranda might have been. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my uncle, Danny Lacy, and Sara's uncle, Don Visser, for their part in helping craft these endowments. Without their involvement, and direction, these might not exist.

The Sara J Cole Memorial Portrait Award

Sara loved learning. She never shied away from a project based on what she didn't know. Instead she would learn what was needed, in order to succeed, and then tackle the project in a time and fashion that were unique to her. The flip side of that coin was that she also loved to share her knowledge with anyone who had a genuine interest in learning from her. She left a rich legacy of gardening, sewing, and crafting knowledge with many who miss her dearly. With this legacy in mind, I'm proud to announce The Sara J Cole Memorial Portrait Award.
Purpose of the Fund
The Sara J Cole Memorial Portrait Award was established in 2012 in memory of Sara J Cole. It is made possible through the generous contributions of Chad A Cole; the Cole family; Visser and Associates, PLLC; and, many others who loved Sara and the joy and beauty she brought into the world. Sara attended Spring Arbor University from 1994 to 1999 and received her diploma posthumously in May 2011. She majored in Art while attending the university. The purpose of the award is to provide a half-tuition scholarship to a full-time Spring Arbor University art student, for use during his/her senior year.

The Cole Color Award

Those who knew Sara best, know she was not afraid of color. Sara saw the world in combinations of hues that many of us just can't see or comprehend…until we saw her finished worked. Not long after her death, a memorial fund was set up in Sara's honor. Hundreds of people and groups sent in donations to this fund. The Cole Color Award, has been funded using these donations. Thank you to all of you who participated in this recognition of Sara's unique way of seeing the world around her.

Purpose of the Fund
This endowed scholarship fund is established through the generosity of the friends and family of Sara Jean Cole for the purpose of remembering Sara and the strong use of color which permeated her daily life. It is hoped that the recipients will sense and utilize color in many forms.

The Cole Color Award will honor two (2) SAU art students each semester, who submit work to the end of semester art show which best reflects the concepts taught in the Color Class (ART 167.) Each award will be $250.00.

The Miranda Collection

My beautiful daughter, Miranda Evangelene, impacted the world in a way that very few children who only live for three days ever have a chance. As I pondered what her life would have been like, who she would have grown to be, what paths she might have chosen to follow, I was inspired to try to remember her in a way that would "grow" and continue to impact people for generations to come. In coming up with the concept for The Miranda Collection, I hope that I have succeeded.

Purpose of the Fund
This endowed fund is established by Chad A Cole for the purpose of remembering Chad and Sara Jean Cole’s infant daughter, Miranda Evangelene Cole. The purpose of this fund is to assist the Spring Arbor University Art Department in building a University collection of fine art, which aesthetically enhances the campus, as well as adds to the educational study of SAU art majors. Miranda was beautifully created. Provided the opportunity, she would have grown, developed, matured, and benefited those around her. With this in mind, it is hoped that this collection will do the same and continue to benefit all those within the SAU community.

This fund is open. The seed has been planted and, just as Miranda would have grown over the years, it is my hope that this fund will grow, too. I hope that there are those who, over the course of time, will find it in their hearts to add to The Miranda Collection. Just as I would have watched Miranda grow, watching anxiously as she matured into the adult I would have hoped her to be, I watch The Miranda Collection with that same nervous anticipation.

If you desire to join with me in seeing The Miranda Collection grow, I would encourage you to send a donation payable to Spring Arbor University for “The Miranda Collection." Donations can be sent to:  SAU Advancement Office, 106 E. Main Street, Spring Arbor, MI  49283.

Chad A Cole
July 6, 2012


  1. So fitting. Blessings on you, Chad.

    Barb Ball

  2. how can I share this to get some attention on her fund?

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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