"It's a Way We Can Help"

Kim Ledbetter didn’t attend Pacific University, but he knows a little something about the value of a small, private college.

A Lake Oswego, Ore., resident, Ledbetter says Pacific University reminds him of his own alma mater, Claremont McKenna College in Southern California — only closer to home.

“I just think those schools provide a great environment and quality education,” he said.

That’s why he has spent the past seven years supporting Pacific University as a member of the Board of Trustees and why he and his wife, Barb, recently made a substantial gift of nearly $120,000 to the university.

“Education has always been very important in my life. I think it is critical to the future of the country that we have a well-educated populace … and it’s a way we can help, I think,” he said.

Ledbetter spent his career as an actuary, most recently serving as a senior vice president at The Standard Insurance Company. He retired in 2009 as a shareholder in the company, and the stock has done well, particularly as the market has rebounded in the past year.

“We were able to make the gift with appreciated stock. It’s a very tax efficient way to make a donation. It really helps the school, and it’s just a very effective way, from a tax standpoint, to do it,” Ledbetter said. “We were able to do more than we could if it had been just cash.”

He pointed out that people may not consider the variety of ways they can give beyond a cash donation, but that many options exist. (He did recommend talking to a tax adviser first.)

The Ledbetters’ gift will support, among other things, a scholarship within the new College of Business, as well as construction of the third building on the Hillsboro Campus, planned to house the College of Optometry and a variety of other programs.

“That’s a part of the vision for the future that I think is critical to the university and is really needed,” he said.

“There are a lot of great things going on with the new residence hall and the possibility of this third building and many other changes, and we wanted to do our part to help,” Ledbetter said. “I’m just very excited about the future of the university.”

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014