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Concordia Connections

Wendy Ward '70 Tells Her Story

Wendy Ward '70

Wendy Ward '70

The cats were out. Concordia was in.

During an estate planning session, my lawyer was sympathetic but firm: Do not leave your annuity funds to your cats. It gets complicated. Find other beneficiaries instead.

But who could I name? I had no spouse or children to consider, and the cats had been summarily disinherited. Where could I direct any annuity money that might be available upon my death? I wanted my bequests to do some good, make a difference.

Concordia was one of the answers.

The college had provided me with an excellent education, wonderful friends, and valuable life experiences, as well as significant vocational connections. Furthermore, I was continually impressed by Concordia's academic, cultural, environmental and spiritual directions moving into the 21st century. All of this called for financial support.

Over the years I had received many fundraising phone calls and mailings from the college: Often I responded with a donation, but was embarrassed by how very modest the gifts were. I knew I was giving what I could afford on a single income as the pastor of small churches. But how nice it would be to give more!

I fantasized about a gigantic Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes check showing up at my door, of writing a novel that rocketed to the top of the best seller list and was optioned by Hollywood, of arriving at Antiques Roadshow clutching a rummage sale find subsequently appraised as a six-figure treasure.

Not. However, a realistic opportunity to give more was presenting itself.

At one time I had compared my annuity earnings to my bank account and thought: "Wow! I'm worth more dead than alive."

A sobering and dismal thought then. Now I realized that as a bequest, this quietly accruing income had serious value. Maybe not enough to endow a scholarship and definitely not enough to have a building named after me, but enough to express enthusiasm for Concordia's future and gratitude for my life as a Cobber.

I don't know what amount will finally come to Concordia when I die. The bequest is as much about my belief in Concordia and its ideals and about stewardship of my limited resources put into the power of God's unfolding future. The bequest is made without conditions or reservations. Though I do hope that on my demise someone would give two elderly cats a good Concordia home…and not in the biology lab.

Soli Deo Gloria and let the seeds of possibility, however humble, be sown.

You Can Make a Difference

Contact Trina Hall at 218.299.3445 or piskhall@cord.edu to sow your seed of possibility for the future of Concordia.