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Honoring a Legacy of Service and Education

The Bennett Family

The Bennett Family: Jon ('93) and Lisa ('94) Bennett, Craig ('87) and Cyndi ('94) Bennett, Katherine ('99) and Darren ('91) Bennett, Aimee ('03) and Luke Jones, with Cliff ('61) and Nancy ('61) as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.

The Cliff and Nancy Bennett Endowed Scholarship honors more than 54 years of marriage and long, meaningful careers spent in Christian education. Established in 2013 by the couple's four children—Darren, Jon, Craig and Aimee, the scholarship is intended for Freed-Hardeman University education majors who plan to teach English or math.

Cliff and Nancy met in 1959 as students at FHC. Freed-Hardeman was a two-year college at the time, so in 1963 Cliff finished his degree at Harding, and Nancy completed hers at the University of Tennessee Martin. They married that summer and moved to Southeast Missouri; Nancy began her career as a high school English teacher, and Cliff taught math at the same school.

In 1972 when the Bennetts were 30, they moved to Henderson to join the FHU family. The school was becoming a four-year college and expanding its faculty.

The Bennetts filled many positions at Freed-Hardeman during their careers. Nancy's roles included English teacher, yearbook advisor, director of FHU's public information office, assistant athletic director and director of academic services. Cliff taught sociology, marriage and the family, social work classes, college algebra and graduate counseling courses. He also served as a guidance counselor, dean of students and vice president of student affairs.

The Bennett Family

Front: Baylor Jones, Harper Bennett, Emily Bennett, Reese Bennett and Gracie Bennett; Back Row: Dane Bennett, Cole Bennett, Dalton Bennett, Avery Bennett, Dylan Bennett and Brock Bennett. "Eleven reasons we want FHU to prosper," Nancy Bennett said. "Perhaps scholarships like ours will help."

Their family grew again in 1982 with the adoption of their daughter, Aimee. "All of our kids grew up in the shadow of the bell tower," Nancy said. All of the Bennett children, as well as all three daughters-in-law, are graduates of FHU.

Cliff added, "FHU has been such a huge blessing to our family and apparently our children feel that way about it, too. If we can help other families enjoy what we've had through this scholarship, then that's a good thing."

Nancy and Cliff were particularly pleased their children acknowledged their commitment to education. "There are few scholarships for those who want to teach," Nancy said.

"I've always believed that schools can be mission fields. Children may not see Jesus reflected in many lives if their teacher isn't that example. There's an opportunity for a teacher in the classroom to be the hands and feet of Jesus."

The scholarship has been awarded three times and is supported by the Bennett family.

"There were lots of consumables that our children could have purchased as an anniversary gift," Nancy said. "They could've sent us on a two-week vacation, and it would have been over with. But this gift has long-lasting, potentially eternal, effects."

Today Cliff is retired, and Nancy works in public relations with the Bramblett Group, a marketing, advertising and public relations firm. Much of her work through BG focuses on FHU, so she still remains involved with the university for a fifth decade. The Bennetts also remain active members of Estes Church of Christ. When not spending time with their children and 11 grandchildren, they often can be found on the sidelines of FHU athletic events cheering for their beloved Lions.

Realize the Power of a Gift

Like the Bennetts, you, too, can put your gift to work today and support FHU students. Simply contact Kyle Lamb, CFP® at 1-800-348-3481, ext. 6020 or to get started, at no obligation.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Freed-Hardeman University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Freed-Hardeman University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 158 E. Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to FHU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to FHU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to FHU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and FHU where you agree to make a gift to FHU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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