Giving Back to Show Their Commitment
Mardian '54 and Joan Peters '54 Blair treat giving to nonprofits a lot like investing. They do their research and look for organizations with a good track record and consistent results. For them, Union College tops the list. "We believe in Union College," said Mardian. "I would put my money at Union College without question."
Joan and Mardian feel a warm bond with Union College and have invested in its mission with their time and resources for several decades now. Their feelings of affection toward Union, and each other, began in the years they spent as students on campus. It was in the shadow of the old clock tower where the couple fell in love and they have been married now for 62 years. "We have very good memories of our student experience," remembered Mardian, "it was all positive, nothing negative."
Their devotion to each other was not the only lifelong relationship that was bolstered while at Union; they also solidified their own relationships with Jesus Christ. "When we were students we had worship every morning and evening, and these worships, along with the chapels, Friday evening vespers, the fall and spring weeks of prayer and Sabbath services were life changing," Mardian recalled.
For nearly 20 years Mardian has served on Union College's Board of Trustees, where his confidence in the college has grown very strong. "I have developed a great respect for the people leading Union College," Mardian said. He has worked closely with several of Union's presidents, vice presidents, faculty and staff members; and bears witness that God has brought to the college the right people at the right time. He is very supportive with the direction in which Union is going.
Mardian believes that colleges as small as Union will always be at risk unless they offer academic programs that prepare young people for high demand jobs such as Union's business offerings, PA , nursing, and international rescue and relief programs. And, Union is actively developing other new programs including occupational therapy assistant. "I feel very encouraged regarding Union's future," stated Mardian.
Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church there are many organizations Mardian and Joan support. When it comes time to decide which organizations they will support to a greater extent they look to see what fruit the organizations are producing. "If you are investing money for profit, you look for organizations that have done well for quite awhile," Mardian explains. "Union has a track record of successfully educating our youth for 125 years and has produced many leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist church. It instills a sense of service and spirituality into our young people."
Mardian and Joan have given financial support annually to Union College for many years, and several years ago they also decided to include Union as a beneficiary of their estate. Furthermore, the couple knew Union offers charitable gift annuities that provides a couple, or an individual, a lifetime of payments (that may be partially tax free) and a charitable income tax deduction. Recently they contacted Scot Coppock, Union College's Director of Leadership Giving, to learn how they can establish a charitable gift annuity at Union College and maximize its benefits. After discussing it over with Scot the Blairs understood their options, and how a charitable gift annuity would benefit them, so they decided to establish one in Joan's name. "By setting up the charitable gift annuity we have already given some of our estate gift and are now enjoying the steady payments," reported Joan, who is very enthusiastic in her support.
"You don't know what the condition of the world will be five years from now or even tomorrow," said Mardian. But he has faith in how Union College will manage his charitable gift annuity. "Without question, I believe the college will be a good steward of the money." Easing his mind even further is the fact that Union College invests 100 percent of all charitable gift annuities in a reserve fund, which ensures the annuitants will receive their lifetime of payments.
A lot has changed at Union College since Mardian and Joan walked the halls of the original College Building more than 60 years ago. "The world has changed, which has caused the college to change too," explained Mardian. "But the students are still well prepared academically and Union's spiritual experience stands out among Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities."
If you would like information on how you can establish a charitable gift annuity at Union College please contact Scot Coppock, Director of Leadership Giving, at 402-486-2600, Ext. 2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Scot welcomes the opportunity to discuss ways you too can invest in the mission of Union College.
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.