WEST LIBERTY â€” West Liberty University alumni made the New Year more prosperous when former members of the wrestling team displayed true teamwork in initiating a $1 million legacy gift to strengthen the future of grapplers on the Hilltop.
â€śWest Libertyâ€™s reputation in the world of college wrestling is well known, and I thank these alumni for stepping forward with a plan for the future that guarantees the tradition,â€ť President Stephen Greiner said.
Former wrestlers Richard Foston, Chris Gibbs, A.J. Monseau, Scott Shipman, Samuel Stewart, Chris Taylor and Wes Watson have all purchased life insurance policies that designate WLU as the beneficiary.
â€śOur alumni are leading the way by taking the step and will inspire others to join the cause and become active in planned giving. I am grateful for their leadership and commitment to West Liberty Universityâ€™s future,â€ť WLU Foundation Executive Director Angie Zambito-Hill said.
â€śThe life insurance project kicked off two years ago through the efforts of our wrestling board and seen as a long term goal for the program,â€ť wrestling coach Mitch Smith said.
â€śThe commitment from these alumni is amazing and speaks highly of our program. We wonâ€™t stop at the $550,000 already secured by these alumni. The objective is to reach $1 million by the end of 2019.â€ť
Ninety percent of the foundationâ€™s $16 million endowment is the result of planned giving or gifts that are deferred until a later date.
Alumni and others who make provisions for the WLU Foundation in their wills or devise other estate-planning arrangements are recognized by a formal listing in the Nathan Shotwell Society, named after the schoolâ€™s founding president.
Currently, there are 151 members in this group.
The West Liberty University wrestling program, founded in 1962, has produced 93 NAIA and NCAA Division II All-Americans and eight individual national champions.
That success has been matched in the classroom, where the Hilltoppers have received 102 NWCA National All-Academic citations.