We all desire significance—to lead happy and fulfilled lives surrounded by loved ones. For many of us, there is a compelling need to make a difference—to leave a lasting impact on the world in which we live. The search for significance and the desire to plan for the future leads many to ponder their legacies. What kind of legacy will I leave?
For Parker Butler ’16, leaving a gift for Southeast Missouri State University as part of his estate plan was a simple way to create a significant legacy.
“My employer offered a supplemental life insurance policy for a very reasonable price. It made sense to purchase that policy and gift it to Southeast. I have always planned to do something big for Southeast philanthropically and this gave me the ability to do it at a younger age than I’d ever imagined,” Parker says.
At only 25, Parker knew the importance of making a difference for the university that has given so much to him.
“While at Southeast, I tried my best to be involved with everything the campus had to offer. In the classroom, I thoroughly enjoyed my classes in mass media, especially the courses I took from Mike Simmons and Karie Hollerbach. Outside the classroom is where my love for Southeast really took shape. As a member of Lambda Chi Alpha, I made some of the greatest friends I’ve ever had who encouraged me to get involved with things like the Interfraternity Council and student government. My time at Southeast was in many ways the best time of my life,” Parker says.
As a student and later as a university staff member, Parker would see the impact planned gifts have on the university and knew he wanted to do the same.
“I hope this is something that moves the programs I’ve decided to support forward. I chose to divide my support between KRCU Public Radio, SEMO Athletics and scholarship support for Lambda Chi Alpha. If that means there’s one more news story, one more scholarship for a SEMO athlete or one more Lambda Chi who can study at Southeast without worrying about money, I’m more than happy to help,” Parker says.
Leaving a legacy can oftentimes feel daunting, but Parker encourages his fellow donors to strongly consider doing so.
"It’s easy and there are way more options than leaving a large gift through your will. We read all the time about large bequests left to universities and while those are amazing, almost anyone can make a planned gift to Southeast,” Parker says.