Couple Uses Retirement Plan Assets to Reach for the Stars
Paul Errington's vision for Ball State stretches into the stars. His wife Sue, an Indiana state senator, shares his vision. Together, they plan to ensure their dreams for the university are realized thanks to a generous gift from their estate.
After 34 years as a professor with a focus on electricity and magnetism, Paul, who retired in 2004, is still connected with the university and the scientific world around it.
With technology constantly evolving, new ways to study science are developing as well.
"He was a chair for a few years," says his wife, Sue. "He is aware of what the department's needs are."
"We want to help with the greatest needs," Paul emphasizes. One of those needs includes renovations to the planetarium. The Ball State astronomy program has one of the largest enrollments in the United States and the planetarium has hosted more than 380,000 visitors since it opened its doors in 1967.
The Ball State Bold Capital Campaign is focusing on a planetarium overhaul with a new digital star projector, 10-foot diameter increase in dome size, and additional seating. The updates and renovations are something Paul is very enthusiastic about.
The Erringtons have chosen to give back to Ball State with a gift using their retirement plan. They have named the Ball State University Foundation as a beneficiary of these assets.
"This seemed natural," Sue says. "All the time Paul spent here, it has so much meaning to him. Ball State gave us our living, and now we're giving back."
Sue has her own personal connections to Ball State. She temporarily worked part time as a beginning Spanish teacher. She became very involved in the women's movement and Planned Parenthood. Her experiences as an advocate eventually led her into the political realm and election to the Indiana Senate. Sue is currently a senator representing Delaware County and Van Buren Township in Madison County.
While looking at their future and back at what Ball State has done for them, the Erringtons decided to provide for both.
"We went to our financial planner and made sure that our daughters and granddaughter are taken care of," says Sue. "We also wanted to make sure we chose the right gift to give to Ball State. Ball State has always been a part of our family. We learned that the retirement plan can be the most heavily taxed asset in an estate, so it made sense to plan our gift using the retirement plan-saving taxes and helping Ball State at the same time!"