Don Nell Cunningham is a woman of independent means-and an independent mind. When she decided to invest in a charitable gift annuity, Don Nell looked long and hard at her many options, finally settling on Trine University-not because it was the alma mater of her husband, Walter, but because it offered all the advantages and intangibles she was looking for.
"When I started thinking about a gift annuity," says Don Nell, "I wanted stability and confidence in knowing the institution I selected would provide me income throughout the contract period.
"I gathered information from universities and charitable institutions, but a remark my husband has made many times in our marriage kept coming back: 'I would not be where I am today if it were not for Tri-State.'"
Walter, a retired Veterans Administration safety engineer, graduated from Trine in 1956 with a degree in business administration. He was able to afford the cost only because Tri-State arranged his schedule so that he could both attend class and work-an arrangement that Walter appreciates to this day.
In gratitude, Walter freely gives Trine credit for its contributions to his career success. He also makes regular outright gifts to the University.
Through Walter, Don Nell learned about Trine, has visited Angola and socializes with other graduates who live near their home in Austin, Texas. She has come away very impressed with the University and the "concern and dedication" it has for students with a desire to succeed.
"When I read that Trine had reduced its line of credit from $2.8 million to zero," says Don Nell, "that indicated my investment was being placed with an institution that would be able to fulfill its obligation to me.
"At the same time it would be used to help others, perhaps like Walter, who to this day 'knows' he would not be where he is if it were not for Tri-State University."