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Donor Stories

Donor Testimonials


  • A Natural Planner Plans Ahead for Bethel
    A Natural Planner Plans Ahead for Bethel
    With her bequest, Sagrid E. (Eleanor) Edman, founding chair of the Bethel University nursing program, looks to the future of nursing through a Christian worldview.
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  • Raspberry Monday Celebrates Student Artists
    Raspberry Monday Celebrates Student Artists
    Long ago, the impact of a car and hundreds of raspberries inspired the funding of a scholarship for Bethel's Department of Art and Design. Now, the Raspberry Monday Scholarship Award and accompanying exhibition continue to impact Bethel's student artists.
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  • "Giving Before We Go"
    Bob S'57 and Gladys Erickson consider charity their "seventh child." Their estate plan provides scholarship funds for Bethel Seminary students now and in the years to come.
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  • Endowed Scholarship Honors Memory of Anthony Nelson '20
    Endowed Scholarship Honors Memory of Anthony Nelson '20
    A year ago, a tragic car accident took the life of Anthony Nelson '20, a standout student, athlete, and business major who loved life and people. Now, through the generosity of business-connected donors—including an international accounting firm and Bethel business faculty and alumni—his life continues to impact future students through the Anthony Nelson Memorial Scholarship.
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  • Integrity and Charity Shape a Memorial Scholarship
    Integrity and Charity Shape a Memorial Scholarship
    Curtis Anderson created the Wilford A. Anderson Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of his father, who was not only a mechanical engineer, but a businessman, entrepreneur, and inventor as well.
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  • Bethel-Connected for Life
    Bethel-Connected for Life
    Ralph and Lyn Gustafson are connected to Bethel in almost every way possible: college and seminary alumni, former employees, donors and supporters, parents of alumni, and hopeful grandparents of prospective future Royals.
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  • A 'Bethel Tradition'
    A 'Bethel Tradition'
    Scholarship donors Ed '48 and Joanne Johnson leave a legacy for music students in honor of their shared love for music at Bethel. The Ed and Joanne Johnson Scholarship was established from the residual value of their charitable gift annuity which providing them income during their life and will benefit students with an Endowed Scholarship for years to come.
    Read more about the evening with photo gallery.
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  • Changing Lives Through Scholarships
    Changing Lives Through Scholarships
    The annual Scholarship Appreciation Dinner honors donors by recognizing their impact on scholarship recipients. Many have included a charitable bequest in your will or trust to support scholarships and program endowments as part of their legacy. To learn more about setting up Endowed Scholarships.
    See a photo gallery of the evening.
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  • Bethel from Beginning to End
    Bethel from Beginning to End
    From youth, both Rod '70, S'74 and Gwen '72 Larson wanted to go to Bethel. And that was only the beginning of a lifetime of Bethel connection, support, and generous involvement that will benefit Bethel students for years into the future. The couple has funded the Rod and Gwen Larson Scholarship, an endowed scholarship supporting Bethel students of need, and they've provided a bequest for Bethel in their revocable living trust.
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  • Gene and Kathy Johnson Take the 'Long-distance View' in Supporting Journalism
    Gene and Kathy Johnson Take the 'Long-distance View' in Supporting Journalism
    Over a decade since they established the Johnson Center for Journalism and Communication, the Johnsons remain committed to improving student experiences through annual and planned gifts. As part of their estate plans, they established a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) to help fund the center long-term while also providing tax advantages to their family as they enter retirement. Part of the residual value of the CRUT will be used to fund an endowed scholarship supporting journalism students with financial aid for generations to come.
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  • The Impact of Estate Gifts at Bethel
    The Impact of Estate Gifts at Bethel
    For years, alumni and friends of Bethel have been electing to designate part of their estates as gifts to the university upon their death. From scholarships to building campaigns, the impact is widespread. These are some highlights.
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  • A Gift for Generations to Come
    A Gift for Generations to Come
    Linda '72 and Ron Dischinger '72 have named Bethel in their will reflecting their long-held belief in the Bethel experience. While Ron served as a social worker at Elim Park Baptist Home in Cheshire, Connecticut, he witnessed clients giving portions of their estates to a number of causes, so when he and Linda wrote their first will in the early 1980s, they decided to do the same.
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  • Holistic Giving to Match a Holistic Education
    Holistic Giving to Match a Holistic Education
    When it comes to charitable giving, Pam '72 and Paul Olson "are big, strong advocates of planned giving," Paul says. "The institution's financial viability and sustainability is assured by an endowment, and we want to help grow Bethel's future." Their deferred gift annuity and other planned gifts?including a charitable lead trust and charitable remainder unitrust — have furthered that goal.
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  • Longtime Bethel Donors Receive Regular Income while Supporting Bethel Seminary
    Longtime Bethel Donors Receive Regular Income while Supporting Bethel Seminary
    By giving to Bethel through charitable gift annuities,Robert and Norma Pint continue their long history of giving to Bethel while securing income for themselves and their family.
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  • Holistic Investment
    Holistic Investment
    Dean and Tammie Junkans '83 give to Bethel through a scholarship they've created -and through a donor-advised fund. However, they make sure the university receives more than their money. This holistic giving approach includes their time, talents, and financial assistance...
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  • A Foundation for Giving
    A Foundation for Giving
    Alan and Becky Johnson first learned about Bethel through a small group at their church. Through the years, Bethel remains a unique place to the Johnsons. Alan says. "... it's been able to be consistent in achieving excellence in Christian education." That's a key reason the Johnsons support Bethel to this day. Since 2013, they've done almost all their giving through a Bethel Foundation donor-advised fund (DAF).
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  • Supporting the Bethel
    Supporting the Bethel "Common Spirit"
    A mutual admiration of Bethel sparked a love story for Gloria Nelson and Larry Rodgers. Both were widowed and open to God's will in their lives. Through Gloria's cousin-in-law, the couple met and began to realize all the connections they had to one another. But when they discovered they both supported Bethel, the final coincidence sealed it for Gloria.

    Through their scholarships and now in her will, they are leaving a legacy to impact students for generations to come.
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  • Brothers Establish Scholarship for First-Generation, Underprivileged Students
    Brothers Establish Scholarship for First-Generation, Underprivileged Students
    Growing up, Sam and Matt Lacy didn't have much. They lived in a trailer park in west Texas with their parents, who both worked to hold down steady jobs but still had to cash welfare checks to make ends meet. It was a lifestyle they were expected to inherit-so the Lacy brothers surprised everyone, including themselves, when they became the first in their family to graduate from college, a feat made possible largely by scholarships.
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  • Bethel Receives 3 Million Gift
    Bethel Receives 3 Million Gift
    Singfeldt's biggest impact at Bethel continues to this day through student scholarships. This year, 29 students were able to attend Bethel thanks to Singfeldt.
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  • A Real Legacy
    A Real Legacy
    The Bergesons have found another way to serve Bethel students for generations to come. They've updated their wills to reflect their passion for preparing students to serve God in their...
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  • Charitable Gift Annuity Helps the Music Stay Alive at Bethel
    Charitable Gift Annuity Helps the Music Stay Alive at Bethel
    Professor of Music Emeritus Mary Fall once traveled the world with Bethel's ensembles. Today, through a charitable gift annuity (CGA), she and her husband, Warren, ensure future musicians will have similar opportunities.
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  • The Impact of a Bethel Education Lasts a Lifetime
    The Impact of a Bethel Education Lasts a Lifetime
    A charitable gift to Bethel is different in terms of its impact on people. ...Bethel educates people to be ambassadors for Christ and to be successful in their careers.
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  • Charitable Gift Annuities Are a Win-Win for Bethel Donors
    Charitable Gift Annuities Are a Win-Win for Bethel Donors
    Take it from retired pastor and Bethel donor Chuck Rehman-"You don't have to be a millionaire to give." After selling their cabin, Charles "Chuck" '53, S'60 and Janice Rehman took out a Charitable Gift Annuity with Bethel. "It's something I wouldn't hesitate to promote," Rehman says.
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  • Family Legacy Inspires Investment in Future Royals
    Family Legacy Inspires Investment in Future Royals
    Bethel Trustee Randy Dorn '77 and his wife, Gail, built their own family from within the Bethel community. Now, they've made it their mission to support Bethel students in creative ways, such as setting up a Donor Advised Fund (DAF).
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  • Brief Time at Bethel Inspires Lifetime of Giving
    Brief Time at Bethel Inspires Lifetime of Giving
    Dan Engstrom attended Bethel University for just one year, while his wife Linda served as a Bethel employee for three years in the late 1960s. Despite their brief time at the university, the Engstroms have given to Bethel for years through multiple CGAs....
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  • Former Trustee Stays Connected to Community through Giving
    Former Trustee Stays Connected to Community through Giving
    Church friendships inspired Neil Whitehouse to serve on Bethel University's Board of Regents. Today, the Whitehouses receive income that will continue through their lifetime from a CRUT that will also benefit their church and Bethel for years to come...
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  • Meet Flossie Winquist: Longtime Bethel Nurse and Faithful Donor
    Meet Flossie Winquist: Longtime Bethel Nurse and Faithful Donor
    Flossie served Bethel students as campus nurse for 36 years. Her legacy of service and support will continue well past her lifetime through funds designated to Bethel in her will and through the "Florence Winquist Nursing Scholarship Fund."
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  • Enriching Lives through a BUILD Scholarship
    Enriching Lives through a BUILD Scholarship
    Born in a small Montana town when education wasn't available for students with Down Syndrome, Mayme Okken never moved past learning to write her name. Joyce DeHaan '67 and her husband, Ed, recently honored Mayme by creating a BUILD scholarship in her name.
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  • Donor's Investment Comes Full Circle
    Donor's Investment Comes Full Circle
    Rae Lindgren provided generously for Bethel students for 20 years before her death in 2016. The estate gift she set up through her IRA will benefit students for decades to come.
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  • IRA Rollover Legislation Expands Options for Donors
    IRA Rollover Legislation Expands Options for Donors
    Chuck Scott '68 has given faithfully to Bethel for more than 40 years. He sees giving a direct contribution out of his IRA to be "a great advantage" and a way to advance the Kingdom of God.
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  • "You Can't Out-give God"
    When asked to share her story, a faithful Bethel donor said she would prefer to remain anonymous, but she would write a letter about why she gives to Bethel each year. She passed away just weeks after sharing about her love for Bethel and giving...
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  • Meet Peter Rekstad '85: Foundation Board Member is
    Meet Peter Rekstad '85: Foundation Board Member is "All In" at Bethel
    Peter Rekstad '85 is an alumnus, Bethel Foundation board member, Bethel parent, and more. He works as an investment professional who often assists clients in giving gifts of stock, rather than selling it and giving the IRS part of the proceeds. His advice is to use one's portfolio, rather than significant sums of cash, for charitable giving.
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  • Creating a Legacy in Chemistry: Visionary Investment
    Creating a Legacy in Chemistry: Visionary Investment
    When Dale Stephens began teaching chemistry at Bethel in 1968, he was shocked at the very limited facilities available to students. Since then, he and his wife have invested heavily in provided resources and research opportunities to Bethel science students through IRAs.
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  • Multibusiness Owner John Roise Sets Corporate Goal to Give
    Multibusiness Owner John Roise Sets Corporate Goal to Give
    John Roise, president and owner of Lindsay Window & Door, believes in giving rather than spending the resources he's acquired, and has given generously through gifts of stock to support Bethel students.
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  • Alumni Create Scholarship to Honor Favorite Communication Studies Professors
    Alumni Create Scholarship to Honor Favorite Communication Studies Professors
    Dana Ripley '92 and Gus Broman '92 started a scholarship to honor their favorite communications professors, Philip and Leta Frazier...
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Donor Story Examples


  • Bequests
    Joe and Anna have been faithful supporters of our organization. They believe it is important to help further our mission.
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  • Using a Beneficiary Designation to Make a Gift to Charity
    Joanne and her late husband Hal had been longtime supporters of our organization. Recently, Joanne's children encouraged...
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  • Fixed Income for Retirement
    After working for decades as a pediatrician in a small town, Patricia is ready to retire.
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  • Tax-Free Sale
    Howard and Lynn were both age 55 when they purchased some vacant land a few miles outside of town. They thought real estate would be a good investment that could be sold later for a profit.
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  • Capital Gains Tax Bypassed
    Peter and Gail were nearing retirement. Over the years, with the help of their financial advisor, they made solid investments in securities and built a sizable portfolio.
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  • Peace of Mind Gift Annuity
    Many years ago, Clara bought a home. Since she was very pleased with her home, she bought stock in the company that built the home.
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  • Endowment Gift
    Pat and Shelly were recently married. They both had been dedicated volunteers at their favorite charity for many years.
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  • Sale and Unitrust
    Gene and Carol purchased stock in a small medical service company several years ago. The company has done well.
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  • The Retirement Unitrust
    Mary grew up on a farm. When her parents passed away, she and her husband Bill inherited the farm.
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  • Property Turns Into Income
    Miranda lived in the family home where she and her spouse had raised their three children. After her spouse passed away, Miranda found it increasingly difficult to care for her property.
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  • Flexible Deferred Gift Annuity
    Luis is a 54-year-old executive at a large healthcare company. He purchased company stock during years when the stock price was low, and now the stock has grown substantially in value.
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  • Part Gift and Part Sale
    Susan and Kevin bought a vacant lot along Lake Michigan many years ago. They had planned to build a second home so that their family could spend their summers along the lake.
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  • Current Gifts
    As is the case with many families, there are times each year when Jim and Sharon focus their attention on gift giving.
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  • Gift of a Bank Account When No Longer Needed (POD)
    Keith has been a faithful supporter of Bethel University and makes regular gifts to support our work.
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  • Transferable on Death (TOD) Gifts
    Harold and Jeanne married after meeting at an event Bethel University held for our donors. They wanted to leave a legacy gift...
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  • A Bequest to Further Good Work
    Nancy and David were dedicated volunteers. Over the years, they had seen many individuals helped by the good work of their favorite charity.
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  • Deferred Gift Annuity
    Several years ago, Larry and Allison invested $30,000 in what they believed to be an attractive stock.
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  • What Will You Do with Your Unspent Retirement Savings?
    Michael and Kelly were retired engineers with two adult children. They owned a home, some stocks, and IRAs.
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  • Gift Annuity for Real Estate
    Jonathan purchased his home many years ago for $80,000. The home is now worth $420,000. Jonathan wants to sell his home and buy a condo for $130,000.
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  • A Bequest to Save Taxes
    Thomas was a widower who had a great love for our organization. As an individual who had directly benefited from our work, Thomas wanted to thank us with a gift from his estate.
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  • Leading for the Future
    Luke and Cynthia spent many years volunteering and supporting their favorite charity. They wanted to give back in a way that would help fulfill its mission.
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  • Give it Twice Trust
    While visiting her favorite charity's website, June came across the idea of a give it twice trust. She contacted the charity for more information.
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  • Providing for Our Children's Future
    Ron and Kathy worked for many years building their nest egg for retirement.
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  • Bequest of Insurance
    Marla and Wayne purchased a life insurance policy many years ago to create security for their children's future.
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  • Testamentary Charitable Remainder Unitrust: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too!
    We have all heard the saying "You can't have your cake and eat it too." This phrase describes a situation where we want two good things at the same time when that isn't possible.
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scriptsknown

Bethel students are called to be whole and holy people that bring the light of Christ into the world.

Join us in raising the next generation of faith-filled leaders and adventurous Christ-followers. Your legacy gift will have a lasting impact for generations to come.