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The Best Policy: Using Life Insurance to Support BSU


Alice Prettyman '82 worked at Ball State for many years

By Dylan Pieri
Standing just under 5 feet tall, Alice Prettyman may be small in stature, but the impact she has made at Ball State University has been larger than life.

After completing her master's degree in counseling at Ball State in 1982, Alice was hired by the Ball State University Foundation to assist with the expanding planned giving program. Planned gifts are a way for individuals with a vision for Ball State's long-range needs to make a difference. They include such options as the following:

  • Donating through your will
  • Making gifts of real estate
  • Designating BSU as a beneficiary of your life insurance or retirement plan assets
  • Creating life income plans

Over the years, Alice moved up to become the director of planned giving and eventually the vice president for the foundation's planned giving program, which experienced extraordinary growth during her tenure. She was honored with the university's Benny Award in 1997, served the foundation for more than 24 years, and thoroughly enjoyed helping alumni and friends fulfill their philanthropic wishes.

"We always put priority on people and their needs. I got to meet so many generous people and hear so many wonderful stories. That's what I enjoyed the most," Alice says.

"Alice is one of the most outstanding persons and fundraising professionals I have ever met," says foundation staff member Phil Purcell, JD, vice president for planned giving and endowment stewardship. "She worked tirelessly on behalf of Ball State and its donors. I believe this quote applies to Alice and her exceptional work in planned giving with our donors: 'It takes a noble person to plant a seed in order to grow a tree that will provide shade for those whom one may never meet.' Alice is one of the noblest persons I know!"

Moving to BSU
Alice's husband, Edwin, has close ties to Ball State as well. In fact, the Prettymans moved to Muncie in 1966 after Ed completed his doctorate in education at Penn State and was offered more than 75 teaching opportunities from universities around the country. Out of all of those, he chose Ball State because it was "one of the premiere teachers colleges in the nation."

Now a Ball State professor emeritus, Ed worked in teacher education, taught educational philosophy, and assisted with doctoral students for 27 years.

The University's Greatest Needs
As the years went by and their affiliation with Ball State grew stronger, the Prettymans wanted to find a way to leave their legacy through a planned gift.

"We spent so many years at Ball State together," Ed says. "It seemed logical for us to give back. Our gift guarantees that when we go there's something left behind."

After contemplating the many gift opportunities, they decided to make a life insurance gift to Ball State, making the university the beneficiary of their life insurance plan. They also chose to make their gift unrestricted to give the university the flexibility to take on new opportunities, strengthen ongoing programs, or meet unexpected financial needs.

"I've always believed that it's most helpful for the university to have unrestricted funds available to meet current needs," Alice says. "You never know what will change over time and an unrestricted gift allows the university to apply your funds wherever will have the greatest impact."

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Ball State University Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Ball State University Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2800 W. Bethel Avenue, Muncie, IN 47304, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the foundation where you agree to make a gift to the foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.