Lifelong Quaker Christine Ayoub, 92, has helped found a Quaker community, written a book profiling 37 Quakers, and given generously to Quaker causes-including the American Friends Service Committee.
Christine and her late husband, Ray, chose to augment their retirement income with a charitable gift annuity with AFSC. Gift annuities provide a fixed income for life for one person or for both people in a couple. "About a year before Ray died in 2013, we decided we wanted our resources to go to good causes in our lifetimes," Christine said.
The Ayoubs taught for many years at Penn State in State College, Pennsylvania, where they helped found Foxdale Village, a Quaker retirement community. "After retiring we discovered that we still had a considerable well of energy and enthusiasm, so we took on a major project," Christine said.
Christine hails from a long line of Quakers; her father helped found the Canadian Friends Service Committee in 1931. Educated at Bryn Mawr, Radcliffe, and Yale, Christine was the first female mathematics professor at Cornell University. Led by her innate curiosity and drive, she decided to return to Canada for a second master's degree at McGill University.
After her marriage to Ray, the couple eventually moved to Penn State, in part because the school was willing to hire a married couple in the same department (mathematics). She is a member of the State College Meeting and in 2014 published a book titled "Memories of the Quaker Past" that profiles 37 senior citizen members of that Meeting who participated in an oral history project.
"We feel that these life histories may serve as a very valuable research tool, especially considering the tumultuous epoch spanned by these lives," she wrote in the book's introduction.
Christine expressed gratitude for the work of AFSC and for her Quaker upbringing.
"I have been blessed with good fortune: a happy childhood followed by a good education, a fulfilling personal and professional life, and an active retirement," said Christine, who added this life advice: "My approach to dealing with the transitions in life-big and small-is you just take one step at a time."