The Best Policy: Using Life Insurance to Support BSU
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."