Create a Legacy by Including BVU in Your Estate
Remembering Buena Vista University in your will or estate is one way to make a positive impact on future BVU students and to be remembered long after you are gone.
“Providing for BVU or any charity in your will or trust is a way to continue your legacy in a way that’s important to you and your family,” says Ken Converse, vice president for institutional advancement. “It’s a way to permanently and perpetually provide for the students we serve in a very meaningful way.”
For some donors, this means endowing an annual gift or endowing a scholarship, travel fund or faculty fund that bears their family name. Whichever they decide, the gift then becomes a long-lasting tribute to their family and their family’s dedicated support of education and BVU. By planning ahead, they ensure the University uses their gift in a way that is most meaningful to them.
“I really encourage donors to reach out to us so we can help them craft an opportunity that meets the University’s needs and also fulfills the donor’s values and interests,” says Converse.
He recently worked on such an opportunity with Doris Grau, Class of 1945. Grau has included BVU in her estate plans, with an emphasis on support of music. This commitment may be new, but Grau’s support of BVU is not. She has previously established a scholarship in the name of her parents, Oscar and Tina Grau.
“I’d like to think that my life’s work could have some kind of positive, lasting impact on the next generation’s future,” says Grau. “I wanted to do something that would make a positive impact for generations to come and to reimburse the community that meant so much to me, my parents and siblings. I believe that a gift to BVU will have a greater impact on students than other organizations with which I’m affiliated.”
The most important part of this process is advance planning, says Converse. Early discussions can be beneficial to all involved when it comes to estates and wills. Recently, the University received a generous gift from an estate after the donor had passed away.
“We will absolutely make great use of the gift, but if we’d known, we could have been able to focus on the donor’s interests,” says Converse. “The biggest thing of all, though, is that we didn’t get to tell her ‘thank you.’ And maybe she didn’t want that, but we would have liked the opportunity to show our gratitude.”