Living Trusts: Hope for the Future

Living Trusts: Hope for the Future
Legacy, once narrowly defined as property passed down to others, now embraces a greater meaning. The Reverend Billy Graham once said, "Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives." Regardless of financial stature, every man and woman leaves behind a heritage of character for those that follow.

Knowing this, Don and Janet Dyer strive to live their lives in a way that honors God today and impacts the future of their family for generations to come. So when it came time for their oldest grandchild, Peter, to go to college, they offered their help. Years before, the Dyers had met an APU student at their church and remembered the Christian university when Peter came from Washington to look at schools. After visiting another college, he and his grandparents came to check out Azusa Pacific. "We met the most gracious, genuine people that day," said Don. "What a contrast to the experience we had on the other college campus. Peter went to the School of Music and was welcomed in immediately. He knew right away that this was the place for him."

Little did the Dyers know, it was also the place for them. "We went to Grandparents' Day that first year and were introduced to many people," said Janet. "It certainly felt like a family. That's when we met Hank Bode and Dennette Miramontes, and we have been connected ever since. One year, we went with the students on the annual missions trip to Mexicali and were so impressed with the work there. These students are so invested in this outreach, and we saw the tremendous impact they had on each other and the people they served."

"After two or three years of watching Peter grow and thrive here, and through our own involvement with the people on campus, we decided that APU was the place to trust with our financial investment," said Don. "We are not wealthy people, but we do have some assets, so we created a living trust that allows us to control our holdings until we pass, and will then benefit Azusa Pacific."

"One of the things we love most about this university is that its vision is bigger than APU itself. Its programs and people reach far beyond this campus. They are known and respected by important organizations all over the world. I don't know another institution like this."

"We believe in the mission, the process, the faculty, and the leadership at APU," said Janet. "We are confident that our money will be well cared for and well spent in the hands of those we trust, and that APU will get meaningful mileage out of what we leave behind."

And what they leave behind is more than money and assets. The grandson they entrusted to APU, graduated from the university three years ago with an amazing experience and a strong foundation for a career in music. His younger sister, Kristine, followed in his footsteps, graduated with a degree in nursing last May, and now serves as a surgical nurse at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, California.

The Dyers' legacy, as the Rev. Graham proclaimed, involves more than possessions to pass down. It encompasses the whole of their lives, their influence on their grandchildren, their service to others, and their relationship with God. With or without a penny to their name, these are the heirlooms that last an eternity.