Young Alumna Proves That It Is Never Too Early to Plan Ahead
"There is no time like the present to make a future gift to Truman!" states Heather (Stalling) Ockenfels, a 2002 Truman alumna.
While most young graduates under 40 are focused on the present, Heather and her husband, Dan, are helping plan for Truman's future with a provision in their estate plans to establish a named scholarship. This award will one day support students in financial need who are involved in Truman's residence hall government.
Reflection Leads to Action
Heather has never been one to shy away from a challenge or an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. These qualities have led her to work toward her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa while simultaneously working as the student conduct officer and critical MASS coordinator in the Office of the Dean of Students.
Naturally, Heather has been reflecting on her time at Truman where the foundation for a career in student affairs was laid. Experience in Centennial Hall government, working for residence life and serving as a student advisor significantly influenced Heather as an undergraduate. "Through that reflection, I realized that I would not have made it through college as a first-generation student without the amazing support of scholarships and someone else's decision to commit to a planned gift."
She adds, "Dan and I thought about where our gift could benefit others and Truman seemed the most appropriate place. I hope a student will benefit from this gift and continue their passion for involvement on campus."
What Prompted Their Gift?
Dan and Heather share a passion for philanthropy but surprisingly that is not what served as the catalyst for making their planned gift commitment to Truman. "Don't laugh," Heather says, "but we decided to make this gift because Dan and I learned how to ride motorcycles.
"Dan's mother insisted we have our affairs in order and we had our wills drawn up," she says. "It gave us an opportunity to really think about our legacy and how we could contribute to society and others well beyond our passing.
"It was challenging to think about the wills, as we are in our early 30s and most people our age aren't even thinking about retirement yet. However, we are so glad we went through the process. We feel more secure about our future knowing others will benefit from our lives."
Choosing the Best Way to Leave a Legacy
When considering how to best leave a legacy at Truman, Heather and Dan knew there were many options to consider. "For us, planning through a bequest made the most sense. Dan and I don't know what will happen next month, next year or 30 years from now. However, we know that our estate will continue to grow and if we take a minute now to make a commitment to Truman, we know that we have set a minimum for our gift. We think of this as an investment in the future of another Truman graduate."