It is probably not very often that a 90-year-old woman has a new perspective on life, but that is exactly what has happened with Freed-Hardeman University benefactor Kathryn Tyler.
Kathryn, 95, established a $1 million gift annuity after reading about the gift annuity rates in a FHU publication. "I figured it was better than letting it lie in the bank," Kathryn says.
A resident of Humboldt, Tenn., Kathryn believes strongly in the value of Christian education. She was instrumental in the development of Jackson Christian School in Jackson, Tenn., and has been heavily involved for years in the development of FHU and the student body through scholarship gifts, gifts to the benefit dinner and estate gifts. She has also helped several students individually with tuition. One of the newest dorms on the FHU campus, the Tyler Residence Hall, even bears her name.
"My husband and I decided, when our daughter died at the age of 12, we wanted to do something that would help children. We believe in Freed-Hardman University. We believe in what the university stands for and have done our best to ensure their future."
Kathryn and her husband were married in 1935. They owned and operated a store and hotel for many years, along with being quite active in real estate.
"I believe there is more in managing money than making money," Kathryn says. "If you don't manage it well, you might as well not have it. The Lord put us here to be good managers. We should all be good Christians and manage our lives well."
Her recent change in perspective has nothing to do with anything other than growing in wisdom. "Wherever I go, I'm the oldest one there. I'm the oldest one everywhere," Kathryn says. "But as I have grown older, I have noticed that everything has a meaning. Things that I used to take for granted now have a meaning. When we sing at church, those songs have much more meaning than they used to. Because of that, I knew what my husband and I decided to do many years ago had significant meaning for the students of Freed-Hardeman University. I wanted to go ahead and make our gift a reality."
One of the benefits of the charitable gift annuity to Freed-Hardeman is that a portion of the amount of the annuity can be counted as a gift to FHU, as this is the portion that will likely come to FHU at the death of the annuitant. Mrs. Tyler specified that she wanted the gift portion of her $1 million annuity to be designated for the Old Main Restoration Fund. The Old Main Restoration Fund has a goal of $5.5 million and will help FHU restore our historic administration building to be used as a general-purpose classroom building and preserved for generations to come.