Berry alumni couple wear leis in front of a pond and rocks

Planned Giving Council: Expertise Available to You

Berry alumni couple wear leis in front of a pond and rocks

Glenn (71C) and Pam Priest (71C) Ferguson dreamed of lending a hand to deserving Berry students, but they weren't sure how best to accomplish that goal and stay within their budget. Then a close friend and fellow alumnus suggested a gift of life insurance.

"We have been contributing to Berry for years, but we wanted to do something more," Pam explained. "Glenn had student loans and worked his way through Berry. We got a good education, made lifelong friends and met each other. We've been blessed and felt it was time to pay it forward."

Enter Matt Medley (99C), an insurance professional serving on Berry's Planned Giving Council, a network of financial and legal professionals with hundreds of years of combined experience offering free consultations to alumni and friends seeking innovative ways to maximize their giving potential. The council includes financial planners, accountants, attorneys, an investment advisor and an estate planner, many of whom are alumni.

Putting his skills to work for the Fergusons, Medley was able to develop a plan that allowed them to make a much more substantial contribution than they ever thought possible. The resulting gift ultimately will support student work opportunities associated with Berry's football program.

The Fergusons were extremely pleased with counsel provided by their fellow alumnus, noting that their own insurance company - a national company they've been with for years - couldn't beat the creative plan he developed.

"It was a good experience for us," Glenn said. "We didn't know what could be done with what we were bringing to the table. It ended up being a substantial amount more than we expected and certainly more than we could have afforded without it. The resource is there, and it's free, so why not use it and see what happens?"

Medley, a planned gift donor himself, has been on the Planned Giving Council for several years. He finds fulfillment in using his skills to help both his fellow alumni and his alma mater.

"When I give someone a creative solution and maybe help double or triple their gift to Berry, that's exciting," he expressed. "I feel like it's a win-win for Berry and the donor."

To discover how the Planned Giving Council can help you make a difference for future Berry students, please contact Helen Lansing at or 706-378-2867.



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