Harry Wise (57H) had a strong belief in Berry's student work program and a willingness to contribute to its success in the future. What he didn't have - as a retiree living on a fixed income - was the flexibility to make a significant contribution right away.
The solution was both simple and far-reaching - an estate gift that will help Berry students in the future while preserving financial security today. By listing Berry as a beneficiary in their will, Wise and wife Ginna were able to designate support for the future establishment of the $50,000 Haron and Virginia Wise Firsthand4You Senior Co-Chair Endowed Work Position. When fulfilled, this commitment will help ensure that funding is always available for this supervisory-level work position in the college's student philanthropy program.
As president of the Berry Alumni Association from 2012-14, Wise was pleased to be able to build on the notable growth in Berry Heritage Society membership (signifying those who have made an estate gift to Berry) that took place among Alumni Council representatives in 2011-12 under the leadership of his predecessor, Barbara Pickle McCollum (79C), and Tim Goodwin (03C), then vice president for financial support.
Wise never imagined that he would one day find himself in a position of influence among his fellow alumni. While serving as Alumni Association president - and holding an accompanying seat on the Berry College Board of Trustees - he took seriously the responsibility of leading by example.
"You've got to walk the walk," he said.
The retired corporate vice president and former mayor of Montgomery, Ohio, recalled the many stories of life-change he has heard from other graduates - high school and college - as well as his own experience working as a high school student to bottle, pasteurize and distribute milk from the campus creamery. He is proud that the work program of his youth remains a core component of the Berry student experience today and is excited to be able to contribute to its continued development.
"The work program that's provided at Berry is so unique," Wise said. "It's an integral part of the education that's offered here. The fact that we've embarked on the (student-managed) enterprise program speaks to the level of confidence that's placed in the students and the autonomy they are given to perform the tasks that they are assigned. And the students step up when given that challenge and/or opportunity."
You don't have to be a member of the Alumni Council to make a planned gift to Berry. Contact Helen Lansing at 877-461-0039 (toll free) or email@example.com to learn about the options available to you.