Skip to Main Content

Planned Giving

Just Add K: Uncomplicating Your Estate Plan Recipe

Donor Swenby

Ralph and Bonnie '69 Swenby

For Bonnie Swenby '69 and her husband, Ralph, it was easy! They became members of the Stetson Society in 2004 and created a legacy to benefit the future of Kalamazoo College. How hard was it? They simply made arrangements to include the College in their will and then shared their intentions with the College. "People often say they can't think about it or think it's too much work," says Bonnie, "but it can be as basic as adding a few lines about the College." The Swenbys sat down with their attorney and simply explained how they wanted their will structured as far as amounts and percentages, and the attorney took care of the rest. "We accomplished leaving a legacy at K without getting too complicated," says Bonnie.

Bonnie is confident that their legacy will go on supporting K when she's "not here to keep contributing [her] time." Bonnie and Ralph also are members of the 1833 Society, and Bonnie serves on the Kalamazoo College board of trustees. When returning to campus for reunions or other events, she says she can always find a connection with other alumni from throughout the years. "We all have that touchstone of Career Development or CIP that spans all class years and acts as a starting point for connecting." Maintaining a strong relationship with the College, Bonnie also has served on the Alumni Association Executive Board, supported K recruitment in Minnesota, and worked with Career Development on the externship program.

Thankful For Her Kalamazoo Experiences

She sees Kalamazoo College's educational experience as one that impacts students in a unique way. Comparing her education to that of her peers over the years, she sees herself as "more flexible and more seeking of diverse viewpoints, cultures, and experiences." Remembering a lecture on the aesthetic beauty of a smile during one of her courses in dental school, she recalls being the only student able to attribute artwork to artists like Rembrandt, Monet, and others. Even as a biology major, the different liberal arts courses that made up her degree "became a part of who I was," says Bonnie.

"The education at K," she adds, "leaves students with an ignition and a drive to learn that doesn't ever stop."

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address