Including Emory & Henry College in my estate plan was an idea that was planted in my consciousness after I first set foot on the campus as a student, although it may have been even earlier when I considered applying. Whenever it happened, my post-high school education included the understanding that colleges do not live by tuition alone. The minute you graduate, you are one of the school's alumni, and institutions of higher education everywhere exist because graduates support them throughout their lives and even after they are gone. So, I never thought about if Emory & Henry College would be included in my estate plans. The decision always was how and how much.
The fortunate part of this story is that I am happy to do this. Even if becoming an alumna had not been part of the package of getting a college education, I would have felt good about passing on assets to the place that enabled me to earn these resources.
I don't think that "paying back" is an adequate explanation for happy giving, both annually and in estate planning. A more durable motivation is the satisfaction of helping the institution you value to survive and thrive. The decision to give every year and to include E&H in my estate is a choice I made in order to support the good work that happens at the College. While my days have their ups and downs, I take solace in knowing that students are receiving the unique and valuable quality of education E&H offers and that I am helping to make that happen. I am happy to have achieved the status of alumna and to be a part of the team that provides this support.
The values at Emory remain remarkably stable. The College is engaged in educating people who not only care about doing well themselves but who are concerned for the common good. Emory & Henry is recognized as having one of the strongest social engagement programs in America. Education reflecting these values makes an invaluable contribution to the health of a democratic society. I can contribute to that healthy future by supporting Emory & Henry financially.
Planned giving makes possible college dreaming. Emory & Henry has been dreaming big dreams in recent years, and I am eager to be part of the dream to reimagine the liberal arts for the future. I am especially excited about the incredible work that the Emory Abroad program is doing in helping students and faculty expand their horizons and become global citizens. In that program, students are invited to "Engage the world. Explore other cultures. Enhance your future." Alumni giving is making possible the rapid expansion of this and other offering for students
So when you see Emory & Henry hold out a hand to alumni, I encourage you to cross that palm with your gifts. In so doing, you will be in partnership with the College in realizing big dreams for the future.