We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
William Peters graduated from Waynesburg in 1950 with a degree in Natural Science and went on to have a career in healthcare industry. Bill participated in numerous activities as a Waynesburg student and continues to be active in the University community today. Bill serves as an Alumni Council member, having over 15 years of service. He attends many on-campus and regional alumni events and was honored with Waynesburg's Golden Key Award in 2000. Additionally, Bill realizes the importance of supporting his alma mater through his charitable giving, having generously given to the University in the form of charitable gift annuities. Able to choose a designation for his contributions based on his interests, his generosity has helped provide for the maintenance of the Paul R. Stewart Science Hall. "I have created several charitable gift annuities with the University that provide me not only lifetime income but also great tax advantages. With the tax-free income that I receive each year, it allows me to support myself while helping and providing for the future of Waynesburg University."
Penny Ketchem received her associate's degree in business from Waynesburg University in 1994. She went on complete a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2000. A very capable and personable individual, Penny found a home working as Annual Fund Director in the University's Institutional Advancement Office. She recalls that some of her fondest memories there were visiting with alumni and working as student mentor for the Phonathon. After moving on from her position at Waynesburg, Penny continued to stay very active in the alumni community. She can be counted on to attend and assist with area alumni events. A passionate volunteer, Penny also serves on the University's Alumni Council. Through her love of the sport of wrestling, Penny has become an avid supporter of Waynesburg's wrestlers. She not only gives to the program financially, but also supports current and former wrestlers by attending matches and reunions. In addition to giving to the wrestling and other programs, Penny has also chosen to make a planned gift to Waynesburg University through a bequest. "Being an Annual Fund Director, I saw how giving to Waynesburg benefits the students." She cherishes the handwritten letters she receives from the students, thanking her for her gifts. "Receiving these notes is emotional to me—I feel it is a win-win situation."
Ivan and Adelaide Guesman are active philanthropists and community leaders, well known for their work with area hospitals, churches and institutions of higher education. The Guesmans did not attend Waynesburg University, rather California University of Pennsylvania. However, they felt the warm hand of God upon their shoulders calling them to include Waynesburg in their charitable giving. "Being lifelong residents of Greene County and former educators, we decided that we wanted to make a conscious effort to help more people in our community. We felt the best way to do that was to support higher education, to give students the opportunity to further their education. Since making that decision, the Waynesburg University community has been a place we can call home. We have met so many wonderful people and had so many great experiences. We give to Waynesburg University because we believe in its mission and we see the wonderful students that are drawn to such a dynamic community." In 2000 the Guesmans were granted honorary degrees from Waynesburg University. The money they have given through charitable gift annuities has been used to establish things like an outdoor café and prayer chapel for Waynesburg students.
Marie Simmons graduated from Waynesburg University in 1947. She attended during WWII when enrollment was down due to men being called to service. Marie recalls that during this time President Paul R. "Prexy" Stewart visited area high schools and offered two-year scholarships to the top ten students at each. Marie received one of these scholarships. She graduated with degrees in education and psychology and went on to teach high school in the Central Greene School District. She then special education in Mt. Morris, which inspired her to complete her master's degree at West Virginia University. Following this, she helped to establish day care facilities for low-income families in Greene and Washington Counties. In honor of her extraordinary work, she was given the Waynesburg University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012. Marie can be counted on to attend on-campus events such as concerts, musicals and plays. She also gives back to her alma mater with a grateful heart, having included Waynesburg University in her will. "To give to Waynesburg University is important because it has become one of the finest in the land, and I'm proud to be a graduate. I'm also grateful for my education that prepared me for a wonderful life."