Planned gift is great way to leave legacy

Charles and Evelyn Aiken have long known they wanted their estate to go to a worthy cause when they passed from this life. With no children as obvious heirs and no distant relatives in need, they made the decision to leave a legacy for the future with a planned gift to Wayland Baptist University.

Residents of Colorado since 1961, Charles Aiken has been a pastor since that time, having surrendered to the ministry in 1958 and attending seminary in Fort Worth. Though they have no direct ties to Wayland, they formed a friendship many years ago with Dr. Charles Bassett, a former development officer for Wayland who still recruits for the university even in retirement. Over the years, he had spoken often about the university and its opportunities for students.

Though he has long been involved in denominational activities in Colorado, Aiken said the couple felt their gift might be best invested into the lives of students seeking Christian education. With no Baptist school in Colorado – or in the surrounding “pioneer” states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas – the Aikens felt Wayland would be a perfect choice.

“It seemed to us that there are a lot of kids in Colorado that would like to go to a denominational school, but there are none in these states and it’s so expensive,” Aiken said. “We decided to let them set that money aside so the university could give scholarships to kids and help them pay for their education.”

The Aikens’ estate will be turned into an endowed scholarship in their name, with funds readily accessible for students from outlying states. The couple’s only provision for the scholarship was geographic. First priority will be given to Colorado residents, with those from the pioneer states receiving any remaining funds.

The Aikens are not unusual in their decision to provide for philanthropy after their death. Planned giving is a great way for people to leave a legacy and see that their estate helps others after they are gone. Naming an entity like Wayland Baptist University in your will is a good way to give and still provide for yourself and loved ones during your lifetime. But there are significant steps needed in the process of making a planned gift.

To educate residents about this process, the office of advancement will be offering a free seminar on Planning Giving on Saturday morning, Oct. 15, through the Community Classroom. The session will focus on information about various planned giving options and the procedures for carrying out estate plans. Lunch will be provided following the morning seminar.

For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at 291-3425. To attend the seminar, contact Debbie Stennett at Community Classroom at 291-3650.