Promises kept

Successful completion of Promise for the Future campaign

Promise for the Future“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” - Nelson Henderson

Promise for the Future campaign cabinet

Cindy '77, '85 and Barry Schwan, co-chairs

Jerry Aaron

Tony Durano

Justus Fugate

Bryan Hanning

Sharon Iorio

Anita Jones

Roger Lowe

Phil May

Jane McHugh

Phil Neff

Dan Peare

Julie Scherz

Chris Shank

A two-year-long campaign to help guarantee that Wichita State University stands strong generations from now concluded on June 30 with its ambitious goal achieved.

Called Promise for the Future, the campaign sought to educate donors about the options for extending their support of Wichita State with legacy gifts made through instruments such as retirement plans, wills, trusts, life insurance and gift annuities.

“The goal of the campaign was 100 legacy gifts, and 100 have been secured,” said Michael Lamb, WSU Foundation vice president for planned and annual giving. “Wichita State is deeply indebted to those friends and supporters who stepped forward and made it possible for us to say, ‘Promises kept.’ ”

Promise for the Future represented the WSU Foundation’s first formal campaign to raise awareness about the importance and power of legacy gifts. It officially started on July 1, 2010, with the creation of a 15-member cabinet led by longtime WSU supporters Cindy '77, '85 and Barry Schwan.

“We were proud to be associated with such a powerful campaign promoting future support of WSU,” said the Schwans.

As the future value of estate gifts can vary based on economic conditions and how the assets are used during the lifetime of a donor, the exact financial impact of these gifts will not be known for many years. However, based on projections, Lamb estimates the final tally at $16 million.

The size of gifts covered the spectrum, he said, from several thousand dollars to the largest donation of $2.5 million. He cited other interesting facts:

• The age range of those making gifts was 24 to 81, with the average age being 57.

• The gifts will benefit every college of the university, plus KMUW 89.1, the WSU athletic department and programs in student affairs.

“Helping people make a gift to WSU through estate planning is always a humbling experience,” Lamb said.

“Often donors will reflect on their gift for years and it is indicative of the contemplative nature of making an estate plan. Those who choose to include a gift to WSU in their plans have very strong, positive feelings toward the university.”

The Promise for the Future campaign allowed staff to see WSU through many different eyes.

“What is rewarding is working with donors who tell us how the university changed their lives, and then being able to help them structure a gift that will make it possible for the university of the future to impact other lives in a similar way,” he said.

Although the Promise for the Future campaign has ended, the WSU Foundation’s planned giving staff stands ready to assist alumni and friends in supporting the future of the university through legacy gifts.

For more information about establishing a planned gift, contact the WSU Foundation’s planned giving staff at (316) 978-3809 or go to

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Wichita State University Foundation

1845 Fairmount St., Wichita, KS 67260-0002
Phone: 316-978-3040 | Fax: 316-978-3277

© 2014 Wichita State University Foundation

Wichita State University Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and donations are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.