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A Life Worth Giving

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I come from a family that believes in giving thanks by giving back to the community. My father and paternal grandfather, for example, were among the developers of the first community center in our home town of Dewar, Iowa. I have fond childhood memories of the many potluck dinners, wedding receptions, square dances, and other social events the residents of our small town were able to enjoy at the center.

My sister, Sue Gates, provides other shining examples of our family‘s tradition of giving back. Although 14 years retired as Principal of the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District, she still serves as President of its Board of Directors. She‘s also a longtime member of the Board of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, and she serves several other non-profit organizations in various capacities. Sue and her husband, David, are actively involved in the Vinton community theater, taking on both starring roles and behind the scenes support duties with equal enthusiasm and delight. I marvel at Sue‘s energy, dedication to community, and willingness to try new things.

The spiritual reward that attends giving back rarely is proportional to the effort expended. For example, my mother lived the last 20 years of her life at Friendship Village in Waterloo, progressing through its care levels as her health and physical abilities deteriorated. Two or three times a year during the last years of her life, Sue, David, and I would put on a little piano and vocal music recital in the community room for Mom and the other residents. The joy in their faces was totally out of proportion to the nominal time it took us to prepare and present each event.

Our ties to UNI started with my sister. She was the first in our immediate family to attend college. Her desire to become an educator, and the fact that we lived in the "backyard" of Iowa State Teachers College, naturally led her to start her higher education in Cedar Falls.

Sue‘s education expanded in tandem with the growth of the school. Her transcript includes entries from its period as the State College of Iowa. Her final diploma is from the "University of Northern Iowa."

My decision to attend UNI starting in 1966 was a little more round-about. Initially, I was leaning toward a career in music, in keeping with my extracurricular concentration at Dunkerton Community High School. My last Iowa Basic Skills report indicated I‘d do okay following any career path that didn‘t require athletic skills or natural talents!

The General Manager of the Waterloo company I worked for part time the last two years of high school is credited with pushing me to UNI and a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). UNI had a great music department even back then, so I figured I could always switch majors if it turned out accounting wasn‘t "my thing." Its physical proximity to Waterloo and the financial aid the school offered cinched the deal: I‘d follow in my sister‘s footsteps and enroll at UNI.

The liberal arts and technical business/accounting education I received at UNI is second to none. That‘s true comparing UNI to the University of Chicago, where I got my MBA degree. It‘s also true when comparing my undergraduate knowledge base to that of many other professionals of equal intelligence and drive that I‘ve met over the years.

Although well-trained and certified, I never did work as a CPA. Fate took me into the healthcare industry and eleven years after starting my formal work career, I created my own consulting firm. For the next 35 years, I traveled extensively throughout the country helping pathologists, laboratories and hospitals remain financially sound while staying on the "straight and narrow" within federal Medicare and private medical insurer guidelines.

I‘ve been blessed in many ways throughout my life. That has allowed me to give back to numerous communities and nonprofit organizations.

My financial support of UNI dates back to at least the mid-1990s. UNI figures prominently in my estate plans as well. I could cite many reasons why I have such loyalty to and respect for UNI, and why I feel so strongly that philanthropy involving UNI is a very wise investment. Here are but three of those reasons:

1. I know firsthand that UNI‘s leaders at all levels are good stewards of the gifts I‘m able to provide. I‘ve witnessed the hard choices they make ongoing regarding the cost versus benefit of specific courses and programs. My gifts result from a great many hours of my labor, but I‘m confident they‘ll have optimal return for the students and faculty at UNI.

2. It‘s remarkable to me that a relatively small university such as UNI should have three centers
of excellence, each of which is near-and-dear to my heart. It still offers a training program for educators that is "head-and-shoulders" above most in the country. The performing arts center is a source of pride for all Iowans. And the College of Business Administration continues to
receive national recognition for program excellence and graduate performance at the highest levels of achievement.

3. UNI continues to impress me as one of the few centers of higher education in this country that still believes in the classical approach to learning: UNI students are taught how to think, not
what to think. I‘m not going on a political rant here, but I believe a great many ordinary people like me agree that what this country needs most today is more thinkers and far fewer ideologues.

I don‘t know how many young members of the Padget clan will decide to follow in Sue and my footsteps by choosing to attend the UNI--obviously, I‘d like it to be all. But UNI is worthy of my philanthropic support even if we are the only family members ever to attend. My life has been worth giving, and UNI remains one of the most important parts of that life.

UNIBusiness thanks alumni like Dennis Padget (Accounting ‘70) whose estate plans will elevate the Gaylon Halverson Endowed Professorship in Accounting.

If you are interested in learning how you can include UNI in your estate planning, please contact Helene Benitez at (319) 273-6078 or helene.benitez@uni.edu.

Posted on 12-Jan-18


  






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A Life Worth Giving

A-Life-Worth-Giving.png

I come from a family that believes in giving thanks by giving back to the community. My father and paternal grandfather, for example, were among the developers of the first community center in our home town of Dewar, Iowa. I have fond childhood memories of the many potluck dinners, wedding receptions, square dances, and other social events the residents of our small town were able to enjoy at the center.

My sister, Sue Gates, provides other shining examples of our family‘s tradition of giving back. Although 14 years retired as Principal of the Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District, she still serves as President of its Board of Directors. She‘s also a longtime member of the Board of the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, and she serves several other non-profit organizations in various capacities. Sue and her husband, David, are actively involved in the Vinton community theater, taking on both starring roles and behind the scenes support duties with equal enthusiasm and delight. I marvel at Sue‘s energy, dedication to community, and willingness to try new things.

The spiritual reward that attends giving back rarely is proportional to the effort expended. For example, my mother lived the last 20 years of her life at Friendship Village in Waterloo, progressing through its care levels as her health and physical abilities deteriorated. Two or three times a year during the last years of her life, Sue, David, and I would put on a little piano and vocal music recital in the community room for Mom and the other residents. The joy in their faces was totally out of proportion to the nominal time it took us to prepare and present each event.

Our ties to UNI started with my sister. She was the first in our immediate family to attend college. Her desire to become an educator, and the fact that we lived in the "backyard" of Iowa State Teachers College, naturally led her to start her higher education in Cedar Falls.

Sue‘s education expanded in tandem with the growth of the school. Her transcript includes entries from its period as the State College of Iowa. Her final diploma is from the "University of Northern Iowa."

My decision to attend UNI starting in 1966 was a little more round-about. Initially, I was leaning toward a career in music, in keeping with my extracurricular concentration at Dunkerton Community High School. My last Iowa Basic Skills report indicated I‘d do okay following any career path that didn‘t require athletic skills or natural talents!

The General Manager of the Waterloo company I worked for part time the last two years of high school is credited with pushing me to UNI and a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). UNI had a great music department even back then, so I figured I could always switch majors if it turned out accounting wasn‘t "my thing." Its physical proximity to Waterloo and the financial aid the school offered cinched the deal: I‘d follow in my sister‘s footsteps and enroll at UNI.

The liberal arts and technical business/accounting education I received at UNI is second to none. That‘s true comparing UNI to the University of Chicago, where I got my MBA degree. It‘s also true when comparing my undergraduate knowledge base to that of many other professionals of equal intelligence and drive that I‘ve met over the years.

Although well-trained and certified, I never did work as a CPA. Fate took me into the healthcare industry and eleven years after starting my formal work career, I created my own consulting firm. For the next 35 years, I traveled extensively throughout the country helping pathologists, laboratories and hospitals remain financially sound while staying on the "straight and narrow" within federal Medicare and private medical insurer guidelines.

I‘ve been blessed in many ways throughout my life. That has allowed me to give back to numerous communities and nonprofit organizations.

My financial support of UNI dates back to at least the mid-1990s. UNI figures prominently in my estate plans as well. I could cite many reasons why I have such loyalty to and respect for UNI, and why I feel so strongly that philanthropy involving UNI is a very wise investment. Here are but three of those reasons:

1. I know firsthand that UNI‘s leaders at all levels are good stewards of the gifts I‘m able to provide. I‘ve witnessed the hard choices they make ongoing regarding the cost versus benefit of specific courses and programs. My gifts result from a great many hours of my labor, but I‘m confident they‘ll have optimal return for the students and faculty at UNI.

2. It‘s remarkable to me that a relatively small university such as UNI should have three centers
of excellence, each of which is near-and-dear to my heart. It still offers a training program for educators that is "head-and-shoulders" above most in the country. The performing arts center is a source of pride for all Iowans. And the College of Business Administration continues to
receive national recognition for program excellence and graduate performance at the highest levels of achievement.

3. UNI continues to impress me as one of the few centers of higher education in this country that still believes in the classical approach to learning: UNI students are taught how to think, not
what to think. I‘m not going on a political rant here, but I believe a great many ordinary people like me agree that what this country needs most today is more thinkers and far fewer ideologues.

I don‘t know how many young members of the Padget clan will decide to follow in Sue and my footsteps by choosing to attend the UNI--obviously, I‘d like it to be all. But UNI is worthy of my philanthropic support even if we are the only family members ever to attend. My life has been worth giving, and UNI remains one of the most important parts of that life.

UNIBusiness thanks alumni like Dennis Padget (Accounting ‘70) whose estate plans will elevate the Gaylon Halverson Endowed Professorship in Accounting.

If you are interested in learning how you can include UNI in your estate planning, please contact Helene Benitez at (319) 273-6078 or helene.benitez@uni.edu.

Posted on 12-Jan-18







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