Hampton Couple’s Passion for Education is Passed on Through Scholarships
A passion for education—and a desire to support Christian education in particular—led Al and Beverly Preisser of Hampton, Virginia, to include Regent University in their legacy planning.
“Bev and I have seven degrees between us, and we believe in helping others achieve their dreams,” Al says. “Our philosophy is that everyone needs to have goals for their life. These consist of immediate, short-range, medium-range, and long-range goals.”
“In addition, there should also be one goal that will not be fulfilled until after your death. For Bev and me, it is to invest in furthering Christian education, as we need strong Christian leaders in every vocation,” Al explains. “Matthew 28 tells us to go forth to all the corners of the world. Regent University is helping students to do just that.”
Beverly was an elementary school teacher who received a master’s degree in gifted education and then worked as a resource teacher for gifted students.
Al is a retired U.S. Air Force command pilot who went on to work as a military analyst and editor at the U.S. Joint Forces Command Center. He grew up in a Christian household, but his life was transformed when he became a born-again Christian as an adult.
As a young Christian and a lifelong student, Al enrolled in The 700 Club counseling class and began answering phones for the program.
“On my first day, I had two calls that showed me the Lord was able to guide me to help people in need,” he recalls. “One woman who was contemplating suicide and another had a desire to kill her son. Fortunately, I was able to get professional help to each of them.”
The Preissers, who celebrated their 50th anniversary in May, put considerable thought into writing their estate plan. They decided to leave the bulk of their estate to various charities, with 40% dedicated to establishing scholarships at Christian universities.
“My wife and I wanted to further Christian education. We know that Regent is a well-established Christian university, and we can see the good that they are doing,” he says. “It was important for us to get involved with what the Lord is doing here.”
Al says that as a retired fighter pilot, he has felt the hand of God directing and protecting him throughout his life. Because of that, he is eager to give back and be part of God’s plan for the scholarship recipients who will go on to change the world through Christian leadership.
Making an Impact Through Blended Gifts
Al and Beverly’s gift to Regent University is an excellent example of a blended gift, which occurs when one combines two or more gift types to increase philanthropic impact, maximize personal tax benefits, preserve wealth, and further the charity’s mission. By blending multiple gift types, one can make an impact far greater than ever imagined.
A blended gift is a smart strategy for most donors when making a large gift during their lifetime is not possible. In Al and Beverly’s case, their generosity includes both a current gift and a planned gift from their estate. During their lifetimes, they’ll enjoy all the tax benefits of a current gift and get to see the fruits of their philanthropy firsthand. When the time comes, their estate gift will add significant funds to their scholarship and amplify its impact in perpetuity.
For more information on how you can leave a legacy of Christian leadership through a planned gift to Regent University, visit regent.edu/giftlegacy. You can also email us at email@example.com or call 800.335.4409.
Changing Lives Through Scholarships
Brenda Wawa (SCA ’26) is an aspiring communications researcher in the food security field. She chose to pursue her Ph.D. at Regent as an opportunity to grow as both an academic and a Christian. Each day, she has seen the Lord work through faculty to keep refining her faith and purpose.
“I am getting a clearer vision of my contribution not just to the body of knowledge but also to bring shalom to a world that desperately needs to know and understand the heart of God for them,” said Wawa.
Her studies are motivated by the vision of a better future for her home community. With the skills she’s learning through her program, she wants to help find solutions to food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and strengthen the livelihoods of those in poverty.
A scholarship is helping Wawa turn her vision into a reality.
She shares, “Receiving this scholarship motivates me to keep working hard and going the extra mile to be a steward of what God has entrusted me with through knowledge.”