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W&L Stories

People like you have made transformative gifts to W&L using a variety of planned giving options. Read some of our shared W&L stories while you consider your own legacy.


Giving in a Whole New Way

Kevin Batteh '95, '98L has always made cash gifts to Washington and Lee, but that is about to change. Over the years, the loyal alumnus has become an expert on cryptocurrency and the regulation of digital assets. This year, Batteh put his knowledge and experience to use in a whole new way by educating the W&L community on digital currencies, and by becoming the university's first Bitcoin donor. 

Building Bridges

When Bette Lathrop named Washington and Lee as one of the beneficiaries of her charitable remainder trust, bridges were on her mind, and one in particular. Her father was a bridge builder and his company, the Luten Bridge Company, built the footbridge connecting W&L’s main campus with the athletics fields, then later the Law School and much more.

Planning for an Uncertain Future: How One Gift Can Have an Extraordinary Impact

At nearly 101 years old, Alfred Thomas "Junie" Bishop '41 has been a dedicated and proud alumnus of W&L. He and wife Helen were loyal Annual Fund donors and rarely missed a local Alumni Chapter event or an opportunity to return to campus for a reunion gathering.

The Essence of W&L

When Helen and Bob Cairns '57 visited W&L for the Five-Star Festival last fall, they decided to take a short detour to the Sigma Nu house. Bob Cairns was a member of the fraternity and thought it would be fun to stop in for a quick stroll down memory lane.

Always a General

Rob Minor ’71 may have graduated from Washington and Lee nearly 50 years ago, but he and his wife Su’s move to Lexington in October 2019 proves that W&L ties run deep. Minor is serving on his 50th reunion committee, and he and Su have already established a charitable remainder trust to honor the milestone.

Artful Philanthropy

Honoring their shared passion for the arts, Susan and Joe Burkart '64 established the Joseph and Susan Burkart Visiting Lectureship in the Arts Endowment using a charitable remainder trust (CRUT). "When it came time for my 50th reunion, we knew we wanted to support the arts at Washington and Lee," Joe Burkart reflected. "The CRUT we set up then has worked out beautifully." The endowment enables visiting artists and art historians to enrich arts education at W&L.

It's a Win-Win:The IRA Charitable Rollover

Dr. Robert (Bob) L. Holt '67 leveraged the IRA Charitable Rollover provision to establish an endowment on the occasion of his 50th reunion that honors two admired W&L mentors, the late Chemistry Professor Keith Shillington and History Professor and friend Ted DeLaney.

Celebrating a Milestone, Making a Difference

Richard McKim “Kim” Preston '69, '76L served on his 50th reunion committee and celebrated with his undergraduate classmates in spring 2019. Together they made W&L history by contributing the largest reunion class gift to date.

Sharing the Benefits of Travel

On the occasion of his 50th reunion, Dr. Gil Smith '68 endowed the H. Gilbert Smith, Ph.D. '68 Science Endowment to support and encourage foreign research and educational opportunities for W&L science majors. "For our students, this kind of experience is transformational as they begin to feel a part of the greater scientific community," Washington and Lee's John T. Perry Professor of Biology and Research Science Helen I'Anson said.

Supporting the Humanities

Roy Matthews ’54 had a fruitful career as an educator. After graduating from W&L in 1954 with a degree in history, Roy earned a master of arts from Duke and a Ph.D. from UNC Chapel Hill. He ultimately spent 31 years at Michigan State University, teaching in the Department of Humanities and later the Department of History.