Lasting Impact — Retirement Assets Beneficiary
Jeff Billings '03 and Elizabeth Freeman Billings '05
Lawrence holds a special place in all of our hearts, and we are all privileged to be able to give back and make a difference in the lives of our students. We are so thankful for not only the great education we received at Lawrence, but also for the wonderful memories, friends, and the lasting impact Lawrence has had on our lives. Lawrence challenged us, taught us, engaged us, connected us, and exposed us to the world. As the years go by, we continue to look back on our years at Lawrence as a transformative part of our lives.
The Lawrence Rowing Club was such a significant part of our college experience (it is where we first met after all)! One of our favorite events was an annual event where current Lawrence rowers got together with Milwaukee-Downer alumna to share memories and take the boats out for a celebratory row. We were fortunate as students to have such a wonderful connection to the rich history of rowing at Lawrence and Milwaukee-Downer. It was not lost on us that the Lawrence Rowing Club would not even exist without the past and continued support of the women of Milwaukee-Downer. We are so thankful to all of the alumni and friends of Lawrence who helped support us on our journey, and we realize that it is now our time to pay it forward.
As a lawyer who specializes in estate planning, Jeff has always found it interesting that a majority of Americans spend their whole lives giving their time, treasure and talent to deserving charities, and yet less than 10% of Americans will remember those same charities in their estate plan. As we sat down to do our own estate planning, we struggled with the same issues that most people struggle with. How do we make sure our family is taken care of? Who do we want to benefit, and who is going to make sure that our plan is carried out? The more we thought about it, the more we realized that our estate plan was more than just a set of formulaic documents, it was an opportunity to continue to make a difference in the things that matter most to us in life. It was an opportunity to create a lasting legacy, and we realized that Lawrence needed to be part of that legacy. To be honest with you, once the decision was made, the rest was easy. We decided to leave a percentage of our retirement accounts to Lawrence. We filled out an updated beneficiary designation, informed Lawrence of our gift, and joined the Legacy Circle. Once the decision was made, the execution took only about 15 minutes.
You may not know this, but Lawrence has an amazing history of planned giving. Unlike most schools, who have only started to develop planned giving programs in the last decade, Lawrence has been fortunate enough to have a planned giving history that dates back over 50 years. Planned gifts have become such an important part of Lawrence's tradition, and making sure that Lawrence has the funds to continue to provide an outstanding education to new generations of Lawrentians.
We are proud to be part of the Legacy Circle, and we would ask that each of you consider joining us.
Lisalyn Jane Dresser, 2022
Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship
"The thing I admire most about Lawrence is the diverse community. You are accepted and treated fairly no matter where you are from. Lawrence does not only teach you what you need to know it also helps you to be independent and prepare you to be successful for the future. I have always wanted to be in this prestigious and diverse university. I will forever be grateful to the Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship for helping me reach my dream."