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Arthur and Dorothy Ritter: Finding their fingerprints all over campus!

Arthur and Dorothy Ritter: Finding their fingerprints all over campus!

Why do parents hang their kindergartner's traced handprint on the refrigerator? Why do we cherish and display a china cup, quilt, knick-knack or pocket watch inherited from family or friend? Most likely it's because of the tender memories evoked by those treasures. Sometimes, if we're really lucky, a precious memento may still hold an actual fingerprint or even the smell of the loved one who owned it and we're momentarily transported to being with that loved one who forever imprinted on our heart.

In much the same way, Northwestern's students, faculty, staff, programs and buildings bear the indelible imprint of those who have faithfully prayed, worked, and supported Northwestern's unwavering commitment to imprint Christ's image on the world.

Such is the example of Arthur and Dorothy Ritter. They spent a lifetime building and stewarding the financial resources God blessed them with, and although they recently passed away, we're still finding their fingerprints all over campus!

Years ago, the Ritters worked with University of Northwestern Office of Planned Giving to strategically optimize the scope and impact of their resources through intentional estate planning. They chose to use blended giving: regular yearly donations in support of KTIS and to students through the Northwestern Fund, planned gifts through the purchase of a Northwestern Gift Annuity and designating a 40% final distribution of their estate to Northwestern.

Additionally, the Ritters understood the ongoing need for maintaining and upgrading Northwestern's physical plant. "Whenever Northwestern needed to upgrade facilities, Dorothy was there to provide generous support of the students' practical needs and the long-term financial stability of the University," says David Danielson, J.D., Director of Planned Giving.

To this end, the Ritters gave toward building projects such as the Mel Johnson Media Center, the Ericksen Center, the Billy Graham Commons and the current renovation of the Totino Fine Arts building.

Through regular and estate gifts, the Ritter's pre-planning enabled them to help Northwestern and other Christian organizations while leaving them with the peace and security of knowing that their lifetime income needs would be met.

Because both Arthur and Dorothy were only children and had no children of their own, after Arthur died, Dorothy named Northwestern the trustee of her revocable trust. Each day she notified us of her wellbeing, and Northwestern assisted in coordinating for her in-home care as well as making sure she had qualified legal and financial advisors to help her with those needs. Northwestern helped arrange her memorial service and made sure that her POLST health care directive was honored as she dealt with end-of-life issues and in-home hospice. Northwestern took care of the arrangements to hold an estate sale to disperse of her possessions and execute her wishes as outlined in her trust.

Are you in a situation like Dorothy's, with no family members to take care of your estate matters after you pass away? Would you like to partner with Northwestern in our mission but don't know how? Blended gifts and charitable estate planning make giving go farther by providing greater tax savings, preserving wealth and helping strengthen Northwestern's future financial sustainability. In addition, you will have the assurance that your estate will be settled by a trusted organization.

See the impact of your gifts today and let others see the imprints of your gifts tomorrow! You have the ability to strengthen Northwestern's future, use your investments for all they are worth, touch the lives of countless others and create a lasting memory.

Northwestern is happy to share information with you about current estate planning opportunities and pitfalls to avoid. For a complimentary, no-pressure consultation, or if you just want to ask questions, please contact Davide D. Danielson, J.D., at 651-631-5329 or email him at dddanielson@unwsp.edu.


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