Major Gifts: 'everyone wins'
McSpadden didn't graduate from Southwestern College. In fact, he never
attended classes on the hill, although he has lived in Winfield for
half a century.
Dial did attend Southwestern, and ran on its championship cross-country
team, but when he dropped out after two years, he never returned to
finish a degree.
spring, though, both McSpadden and Dial made gifts that will benefit
Southwestern College for decades to come-and neither gift involved cash.
College has received a unitrust gift worth more than $500,000 from G.D.
and Sula McSpadden, and has become the beneficiary of Keith Dial's $1.5
million life insurance policy. The gifts, while unusual in size, represent
the varied ways friends and alumni are supporting Southwestern.
why Southwestern? And why these methods of giving? The McSpadden family
and Keith Dial both point to a long-term relationship with the college,
and to their belief in its purpose, as factors in their decisions.
he had attended Wichita University and graduated from Washburn University
and Washburn University School of Law, G.D. McSpadden sometimes regretted
he hadn't attended Southwestern, says his son, Steve. In fact, in 1950
Gerald chose Winfield as a site to open his law practice largely so
he could watch Southwestern basketball, Steve claims.
can probably count on one hand the number of games he's missed since
1950," Steve says. "I recall many family events that were planned around
Southwestern College basketball." Basketball wasn't the only family
tie to the school, though. Sula McSpadden's father, A. Y. Wells, was
a practicing physician and surgeon in Winfield for more than 30 years.
When Southwestern College took over the nursing program that had been
run by St. John's College, the McSpaddens supported the new department
with a gift, continuing their commitment to the community's health care.
And their interest continued as son Steve served 13 years on the Board
of Trustees, completing his service this spring after a three-year stint
as board chair.
the elder McSpadden (now retired from a distinguished career in law
and banking) decided to finalize his estate planning, he realized that
a straight cash gift might not be in the best interest of the school
or of his family.
McSpadden and estate planner John Griffin worked out a unitrust. The
results, according to Steve? "Everyone wins except the government."
unitrust transferred to the school bank stock that would have required
substantial capital gains taxes had it been ransferred to heirs. The
college then sold the stock and invested the proceeds, with the interest
from the investments returning to the McSpaddens to be used for their
own living expenses and life insurance premiums.
benefits, Steve points out, included: 1) a tax deduction and a life
income for the McSpaddens, plus 2) an insurance pay-off for their children
that (because of the tax benefits) is equal to what would have been
possible without the gift, and 3) a gift of the unitrust principal to
Southwestern College. The only decrease is in the amount of taxes paid,
why isn't a unitrust a more common gift vehicle? Steve speculates that
many donors simply aren't aware this option exists. It's also slightly
more complicated ("It's not as straightforward as writing a check,"
he says). Resources available through the college, though, can smooth
Bean, Southwestern's vice president for institutional advancement, served
as a bank trust officer before joining the SC staff and is eminently
qualified to suggest trust options. For more intricate arrangements,
the services of estate planning specialist John Griffin are available
at no charge to alumni and friends of the college.
Dial's unusual contribution to the college began to take shape in the
early months of 1999, when he and his partner sold their highly-successful
53, is quick to point out that he didn't graduate from Southwestern
College, "but did Southwestern College make me what I am today? Yes."
His two years at the college, under the tutelage of such professors
as Warren Wooldridge, taught him that "I can be anything I want to be.
And J.C. Witter taught me I can be better than I think I can be."
family heritage was strong at the college, with Rev. Bill Dial (his
father) graduating in 1949; a sister, Jolene Dial Davis, in 1969, and
another sister, Jeanette Dial Kuhns, in 1972. His twin, Craig, also
began college at Southwestern but left to serve in Vietnam.
Keith didn't have a goal for his SC years, he recalls, so he decided
to quit college in 1966. He was immediately drafted.
spent six years in the Army, including two years' service in Taiwan
and one in Vietnam. He left the military as an intelligence analyst
and specialist in Mandarin Chinese, and with a determination to start
his own business before he was 30 years old.
result, Air Capitol Plating, became an exemplary Wichita small business.
Following standard business practice, Dial and his business partner
each had $1.5 million life insurance policies. When they sold the business
in January of 1999, Dial was in a position to benefit the college that
had been so much a part of his life.
put me in a place to make money, but money is not supposed to be a method
for measuring myself," he emphasizes. "You've got to find something
to support, and being a preacher's kid, I thought it ought to be a Methodist
Dial, a trustee of Southwestern College, and his wife, Joyce, made the
college the owner and beneficiary of the life insurance policy. They
also make an annual gift to the college that equals or exceeds the premium
payment on the policy. This enables them to take a tax deduction for
the cash value of the policy as well as to deduct future gifts to the
college that enable the policy to remain active.
do his children feel about this gift? Keith laughs when he answers.
"They expected it of me. I have always believed that God works through
us, not for us, so the tax deduction is not the determination factor.
A few years back, I really wanted a new convertible, so I bought one.
But until I gave a gift in the same amount to my church, I couldn't
want to help make sure Southwestern College is always here, and able
to shape people's lives, whether they graduate or not," he adds.
Dial is consulting with other small businesses, and is CEO of a new
group in Olathe that combines baseball and technology.
donors, two unusual giving tools. And Southwestern College is the beneficiary
is wrapping up more than three decades of service to Southwestern,
and the college thanked him by presenting him an honorary doctor
of business administration. The tribute to Spidel came during annual
Founders Day festivities. More than 120 friends of the college gathered
March 11 for the banquet and celebration. Along with the ceremonial
"hooding" came announcement by President Dick Merriman of the establishment
of the Earl and Jo Spidel Scholarship fund.
three decades at Southwestern, Spidel served in positions including
vice president for business affairs, director of college advancement,
and (most recently) director of planned giving and special gifts.
also paid tribute to Jo Spidel, Earl's wife of nearly 50 years,
who died following a brief illness in January 1998. A longtime educator,
Jo frequently accompanied Earl on visits to donors.
that he had been at the college during the tenure of six presidents,
and of five vice presidents for institutional advancement or development.
he has said, he plans to spend time with his family, including son
Tom, daughter Barbara and Neal Smith, and grandsons Nicholas and
Lucas, and daughter, Jean and Deron Brink, Formia, Italy.
whose entrepreneurial spirit and third-career enthusiasm helped
make Southwestern College's Professional Studies Centers a leader
in regional adult education, has announced his retirement.
was honored by PSC alumni and staff during a gathering at the Wichita
East center March 10.
Carl E. Martin hired Hafenstein a decade ago to build the new program
from the ground up. "At the point of his life that he came to Southwestern,
Marvin was risking a lot to do that," Martin points out. "But there
are people who talk, and there are people who do, and Marvin is
definitely a do-er."
Hafenstein to preachers in the early Wesleyan tradition, who took
their message to the streets and fields. "Marvin embodied that spirit
because he took the educational process to the adult learner where
it was most needed," Martin adds. "He really embodied the SC vision
component of lifetime learning and career preparation in a remarkable
In the decade
Hafenstein has headed the PSC programs, it has grown to three sites
with more than 500 enrollments in Winfield and Wichita.
and his wife, Joanne, have purchased a camper and plan to begin
retirement by traveling to Alaska.
For half a
century, the sound of education for generations of Southwestern
students has been the thundering chords of "Lift the Chorus" played
on the great Sonner-Stanford pipe organ in Richardson Auditorium.
And for four decades, these chords have been generated by Jim
Strand, professor of music.
at the end of the spring semester, closing his tenure at Southwestern
College with what he laughingly called his senior recital.
A few weeks
later Strand was the guest of honor as his former students (now
professional organists) played one final time for their professor:
Jolene Dial Davis '69, Athens, Ga.; Jean Miles Price '67, Anaheim,
Calif.; Alan Malaby '71, Wichita; and Burton Tidwell, Marion. Then
Jim and Carlyn Strand's sons took the stage. Eric Strand '87, Kalamazoo,
Mich., and Jon Strand, Natick Mass., finished the program with trumpet
and organ music.
delighted by the program, closed the recital. "This has been great-I
think every couple of years from now on, I'll retire," he said to
the laughter of the audience.
more, he played the famous Widor toccata that has become his trademark,
and his final recital as an active professor was over.