Tower Society Profile: Patricia Frasher Papoi '66 and David Papoi '65
By Andrea Misko Strle '99
It began as a discussion around the dinner table decades ago when David Papoi '65 and Patricia "Pat" Frasher Papoi '66, now grandparents, were just beginning to plan their future. The topic of the discussion: How can we give back to the university that educated us, helped shape us and ultimately may educate our daughter?
But it wasn't until 1988 when the Papois were touring colleges with their daughter Kristin Papoi '94 that they more seriously pondered the legacy they wanted to leave. "We had wills previously that were oriented toward the concerns of younger people," says Dave, who spent his career at Procter & Gamble. "But now that we were older people, we wanted to look at our legacy. We wanted to try to give back as best we could."
So the Papois established a charitable trust and, in their estate and financial planning, also decided to leave a portion of their wealth to Ohio Wesleyan. That choice made them members of OWU's Tower Society, established in 1990 to recognize alumni and friends who include OWU in their estate plans. There are more than 460 living members of the society.
Admittedly, the Papois say they were on a 20-year hiatus from the university-from their graduation until their daughter began her college search-busy childrearing and working. But they quickly realized it wasn't too late to be involved. Walking around campus in 1988 and looking now through the eyes of parents and alumni, Dave and Pat suddenly saw all the good things OWU had going on.
"With our daughter as a student, we were on the parent council and that was a very good way for us to see the workings of the university," says Pat, who is a retired from McAlpin's department store in Cincinnati. "The more we saw, the more we liked."
Being a member of the Tower Society means you have included Ohio Wesleyan in your estate planning. Perhaps you have agreed leave a percentage of your assets to the university, or you have identified a lump sum to set aside for OWU. The Papois believe that we all have a role to play. And to them, OWU is at the top of their list.
"Don't feel bad because you haven't participated since the day you graduated," says Dave, who is now a two-term university trustee and honorary chairperson of the Tower Society. "It is never too late. You don't need to be a millionaire. That's the wonderful thing about it.
"I would encourage someone who is young to think about joining," Dave says. "You got something out of OWU and it is time to give back. It would be a great shame to say you wanted to do something for OWU, but you were waiting until you retired. People never know when they are going to die, and what if you don't make it to 60."
The Papois are grateful they rekindled their relationship with the university. However, one relationship has persevered through more than four decades. Dave, a history major at OWU, has maintained a connection with his OWU advisor emeritus history professor Richard W. Smith. They see each other regularly and communicate through letters. Dave's involvement with the university, particularly as a trustee, has opened his eyes to the processes and decisions the university makes in raising and spending money.
"I have seen the struggles, triumphs and defeats, and I have come away feeling as though this place really knows what it is doing," Dave says. "It is in the business of generating brilliant students and it is doing a phenomenal job. We believe this is a great institution with a great president, provost and faculty. These people are sacrificing a lot themselves to further the education of these students."
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