Lush estate pledged to Western

Geology program stands to inherit millions

MONMOUTH -- As a teacher it may be a bit surprising to discover the extent of one's influence in the life of a student.

For retired Western Oregon University geology professor Ray Brodersen, the effect is seen in a recent planned bequest to the university.

A former student of Brodersen's, now nearing retirement age has informed Jim Birken, director of fiscal management and gift planning for the Western Foundation, that his estate will be a gift to the university with a single directive: Promote and develop an excellent geology program.

The estimated value of that estate is $3 million, said Birken. The value when the foundation receives it may be greater or less than that amount, he said.

Birken said it is what "we call an expectancy."

The Western Oregon University Foundation was established in 1965, he said. "It has $7 million largely because we've been in a spending mode rather than an accumulative mode in recent years."

One of the big spending projects was Western's Hamersly Library. The foundation "spent" $3 million in helping make that facility part of the Western campus.

Birken spends much of his time helping folks with their estate planning -- especially when there is interest in helping build a stronger Western Oregon University.

"We really want people to think of the Foundation in their estate plans," he said.

"As part of the Willamette Valley Leave a Legacy program, we have a lot of ways in which people can make gifts or bequests to the university."


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