When Gary Beverage ’66 attended the Celebrating Endowment Luncheon at the University of Redlands in 2019, he had what he described as an epiphany.
The annual event (which was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) is traditionally held on the Friday of Homecoming weekend. It celebrates the generosity of endowment donors and members of the George P. Cortner Society who have made commitments to the University through their wills or other deferred gifts. Five years ago, Beverage and his wife, Nancy, included a provision in their plans to support two funds: an endowed scholarship for students in the sciences and a discretionary endowment for the physics department. At the luncheon, University of Redlands President Ralph W. Kuncl discussed the campaign theme, Forever Yours, and how endowments exist in perpetuity.
“He got me thinking,” says Beverage, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with minors in mathematics and physics. “I realized that the benefits I gained from attending Redlands had only been possible due to those who helped me get here, especially my parents [Harold and Ardis Beverage]. They made many sacrifices so I could be the first in my family to earn a college degree, so we decided we should recognize them for their encouragement and commitment by creating a scholarship in their names.”
He also wanted to acknowledge the role his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Heilman, had in his education and did so by establishing an endowed scholarship for students in the new Graduate School of Theology (GST). He feels the U of R addition of San Francisco Theological Seminary under the umbrella of the GST as “one of the most strategic moves the University has ever made.” The recipients of these scholarships will be students of philosophy, religious studies, and theology, which Beverage cites among his family’s priorities: “They are important subjects, particularly in these current chaotic times.”
Beverage worked for 26 years at IBM (where he met Nancy) and credits the University with broadening his interests. “Not only did I get my feet wet in the sciences, but I had to take liberal arts courses, which I have used as much in my life as my technical training,” he says. “I wouldn’t have traded my Redlands experience for anything, and I am so glad it worked out the way it did.”
One of the most rewarding parts of the couple’s experience has been meeting the Bulldogs whose scholarships their generosity has made possible: “We love getting their photos and letters. It’s great to be involved in the lives of students in search of their own futures.”
For information on how you can establish an endowment to honor loved ones as the Beverages have, please contact Ericka Smith, senior philanthropic advisor, at 909-748-8357 or firstname.lastname@example.org.