A Personal History and Family History with U Arizona

Therese Berg ’42 ’54

Therese Berg ’42 ’54, who will be 102 in December, remembers contemplating her future at 17. She graduated from Tucson High School and secured a summer job typing property tax rolls for the county assessor. Berg’s boss asked her to stay on when the summer ended.

“My papa asked me to go to the University of Arizona for at least one year. I enrolled, and you couldn’t have dragged me out of there,” she says.

Berg delighted in joining the Chi Omega sorority and appreciated the individual instruction her professors provided. The University had only around 3,000 students.

Berg enjoyed a career in which she was a teacher and guidance counselor for 40 years.

“I found myself so thankful to my father for insisting I get my studies. I loved teaching and counseling because I loved the students.”

Berg’s son, Charles Clifford Hinman, also graduated from Tucson High School and enrolled at Arizona. He studied aerospace engineering and was a member of the Air Force R.O.T.C. Hinman died from cancer during his senior year.

Through charitable gift annuities, Berg established the Charles Clifford Hinman Merit Award in Aerospace Engineering for Tucson High School graduates who are beginning their final year at Arizona. She wrote to recipients: “You are doing what my son was not able to do but what he wanted to do with all his heart.”

When Berg later lost her husband, Robert Berg, to cancer as well, she created an endowed fellowship at the University of Arizona Cancer Center in the form of another charitable gift annuity. She has now created more than 25 charitable gift annuities benefiting additional university areas.

Berg has found meaning in honoring her parents, Therese S. and Charles Velasco, and her aunt, Marie Schreiner, through planned gifts and named another fund for Hinman.

“As long as there is a university, they will be remembered,” she says.


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