Mary's Story

Make Sure You Share Your Charitable Intentions With OWU

A lifelong music lover, Mary wanted to leave a lasting legacy to benefit the music program at Ohio Wesleyan, her beloved alma mater. She carefully crafted a trust and named a reliable family member as her trustee, giving him the charge to carry out her last wishes. One of those wishes provided a very generous $200,000 gift to provide scholarships for music students at OWU.

After Mary's passing, her trustee became ill and was not able to follow through on her intentions for Ohio Wesleyan, or for the other charitable causes Mary had named in her trust. Fifteen years passed, and her legacy remained undiscovered and untouched. It was only when Mary's trustee passed away that an attorney reviewing his files discovered Mary's intentions.

Sound implausible? Although Mary's name has been changed, the story is completely true. Fortunately, in this instance, Ohio Wesleyan and the other charities were able to receive the majority of the gifts that Mary originally intended.

Unfortunately, this scenario isn't unique. Through the years, estate commitments to Ohio Wesleyan and other charitable organizations have been lost entirely or reduced because of inaction, illness or occasional ill intentions on the part of trustees and executors left to steward these thoughtful gifts. Whatever the reason, this lack of accountability results in funds that were intended for noble purposes such as scholarships, buildings or faculty support, not being distributed to charity or being left otherwise unspent.

Had Mary shared her intentions with OWU and the other charities benefitting from her generosity, her wishes might have been fulfilled. It's that ongoing communication with OWU while donors are alive that can clarify and protect their generosity and much-needed support for Ohio Wesleyan.

Please note that Ohio Wesleyan will never share the amount of an intended bequest without the donor's consent and absolutely honors all requests for anonymity. If we know there's a charitable plan in place, the appropriate staff member can make inquiries and even be of help to trustees and executors who may need some guidance.

For more information about how you can ensure that your end-of-life wishes become a reality, please contact Jenny Batchelder, JD today at 740-368-3043.

Contact Info


University Advancement Office
Mowry Alumni Center
61 S. Sandusky Street
Delaware, OH 43015
P 740-368-3078
F 740-368-3328


Jenny Batchelder, JD
Director of Gift Planning
P  740-368-3043
F  740-368-3328