Over the past several years, Paul ’81 and Pam ’80 Schweitzer have taken a keen interest in Grand Valley and they’ve noticed that the West Michigan community is very invested in the university. “Grand Valley was in its infancy when we were here,” Paul says. “Now it’s emerging as one of the leading universities in Michigan. There’s a strong sense of community surrounding Grand Valley and people want to be a part of it.”
Once the couple had decided to leave a legacy to Grand Valley in their will, they found the process to be refreshingly easy. “The staff at Planned Giving was professional and there was no pressure,” Paul says.
“You never know what will happen to you tomorrow,” he continues. “Even if something unexpected happens to us, we have our will in place and we’ll be leaving a legacy to help students and the community. We’ll have made an impact because we felt that now was the right time to give.”
Paul and Pam worked extremely hard to pay their own way through college. While their parents provided other types of support, neither family was in a financial position to help pay for tuition. “We have a sense of pride for working and putting ourselves through school,” Pam says. “We’ve risen above our own expectations, and we want to help others to do the same.”
The couple is supporting students by establishing the Paul '81 and Pamela '80 Schweitzer Endowed Scholarship and through Planned Giving.
“Why wait?” Paul responds, when the couple is asked why they chose to make a planned gift. “Time is precious and there are students that need help right now. We decided to give back what we can rather than wait for the perfect time, because really, there is no such thing as the perfect time.”
Pam explains that they hope to see Grand Valley change and grow and witness the benefits of their giving. “We want to see the impact,” she says. “We don’t want to wait so long that we don’t get to see how our gifts have touched lives.”
“We may not all be able to give large lump sums,” Paul says, “but each piece helps. If everyone who was considering giving a small amount actually did, it would add up. Each piece of the puzzle is important and together we make a difference. That’s the collective power of giving.”
If you would like to learn more about how you can give a planned gift please click here. Grand Valley also has a Planned Giving Kit that you can view here and Estate Planning Guide here. If you have already included GVSU in your estate plan, please let us know by calling (616) 331-6000.