• Learn how others have made an impact through their acts of giving to Ball State!

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  • A charitable bequest is one of the easiest and most flexible ways that you can leave a gift to Ball State that will make a lasting impact.

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Planned Giving

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College Sweethearts Find a Tax-Wise Way to Support BSU

College Sweethearts Find a Tax-Wise Way to Support BSU

Mearl and Lolita Guthrie wanted to leave their legacy at Ball State University. At the same time, they wished to hold onto important assets that they would need during their golden years.

By naming the Ball State University Foundation as a beneficiary of their retirement plan assets, they were able to leave a legacy while receiving income from their nest egg. Mearl passed away in 2013 and Lolita passed in 2015. Their gift lived on to protect their heirs from income taxes and potential estate taxes.

This legacy gift let them leave their mark in a big way! The ultimate proceeds from their retirement plan provided additional funds to the Mearl and Lolita Guthrie Scholarship in Consumer Issues, awarded annually to a student interested in consumer education in the Miller College of Business.

"We never know how much of our retirement plan we will need in the years ahead," Lolita said. "This is why we are so grateful to be able to give back any amount we do not use in our retirement account to Ball State and our scholarship."

Using Their Time, Talent, and Treasure

The Guthries met at Ball State in 1943 and have lived by a motto that has taken them through 66 years of marriage, rewarding careers, parenthood, and service to their community: "Two of the greatest gifts are life and time. There are 168 hours in a week and we all have the same amount of time. It all depends on how we use it."

After she graduated with her degree in elementary education from Ball State, Lolita (BS '47) taught eight years, serving in public schools in Muncie; Minneapolis; Cincinnati; and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She then became a stay-at-home mother for their children Scott and Carla. In 1978, she began doing research in genealogy and family history. She was honored to receive the Ruth C. Bishop Family History Living Volunteer Hall of Honor Award from the Ohio Genealogical Society in 2006 for many years of excellence in research and cemetery preservation.

Mearl completed his BS ('48) and MAE ('49) degrees in business education at Ball State and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He taught business education at Bowling Green State University for 36 years, serving as department chair from 1957 to 1985 during a period of tremendous growth. He also helped develop the Business Administration Department for the College of the Virgin Islands.

Mearl has lectured on numerous college campuses and has been a featured speaker at management seminars for various companies and organizations. After retirement, he took an active role in Boy Scouts, National Association of Investment Clubs, The Nature Conservancy, Lions Club, as well as local environmental and natural area organizations.

Recognized in Who's Who in America, Mearl says he was mentored by many professors and administrators while attending Ball State, including former presidents John R. Emens and Robert P. Bell. These relationships greatly influenced the Guthries' decision to give back to Ball State. "They helped me see how important education is," says Mearl, who was the first graduate assistant in Ball State's Consumer Education Department. "We want to pass on to others for what these fine people did for us."

Make a Greater Impact

Follow your passion with a gift to the Ball State University Foundation. Contact D. Mark Helmus at 765-285-8312 or dmhelmus@bsu.edu for details.

The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results.


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