Life Impact Inspires Support

Al Wurster

Al Wurster

We appreciate all of our donors, and whether they are alumni, parents or friends of Sigma Nu, they mean the world to us. See why one of our donors, Al Wurster, President of Wurster Construction Company, Inc., gives back.

Q: Why do you give to the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation?
A: Initially my donations to SNEF were small. I started donating years ago because of the life impact Sigma Nu had on me. I was giving to my local chapter through our Alumni Association dues, but after attending my first Grand Chapter while in school, I finally saw and recognized the importance of our national fraternity to our local chapters.

Q: Why is its mission, and the mission of Sigma Nu Fraternity, important?
A: The Foundation is a vehicle to support Sigma Nu—with resources and finances. I believe in development of ethical leaders by Love, Honor and Truth now more than ever. Seeing that our society needs to train our young men to become and stay ethical leaders in our homes, at work and in our communities across this great land. I see it as a stand against the moral decay that has been on the rise in our society. As Regent John Hearn has expressed for many years, choosing the harder right over the easier wrong is the basis for so much of the leadership education and development that Sigma Nu focuses on.

Q: How did your Sigma Nu experience prepare you for the world after college?
A: I have to say, I entered Purdue University pretty much as an introvert and focused on working hard.

Q: Is Sigma Nu's mission to develop ethical leaders important today? Why?
A: Noted in my comments above.

Q: Planned giving is a special way to support an organization. Why did you choose to invest in Sigma Nu in this way? What do you hope to achieve with your philanthropy?
A: Annual giving is an important component to what I do year over year with a lot of not for profits that I support along the way. I invest in those organizations that work in areas that are important to me. Certainly, Sigma Nu is in my top two. With my annual giving and campaign giving, I get to witness the impact of my investment along the way. Planned giving is a little different in that I have made a commitment to Sigma Nu when I am gone. I know what that investment looks like as I was able to direct that investment and my legacy in unrestricted and some restricted giving. It allowed me to be more generous to Sigma Nu using a life insurance policy, leveraging what I give now. My hope is to fund Foundation operations, which is critical in raising funds for Sigma Nu, as well as the legacy component that I cannot do as fully while I am living.

Q: How have other Sigma Nu brothers impacted your life?
A: There have been several Sigma Nus that have impacted my life. First and foremost was our Chapter Advisor, Chuck Ludwig. He showed a sincere interest in over 480 brothers of the BZ chapter. I was fortunate enough to be one that he poured into, to make me the best I could be. There have been several others who are from chapters across the country. Most of them have been our past Regents, and High Council members that I've met at Grand Chapters and some that I've had the pleasure to serve with. They have helped me with personal situations and with business advice as well through the years. They are some of my closest friends. I have a couple of BZ brothers that I have invested in their companies. As a business owner, those relationships are invaluable, as iron sharpens iron.

Q: What has been the Sigma Nu experience that has impacted you the most?
A: I would say that there are two experiences that happen in Sigma Nu that impact me, and both for the same reason. The experiences include the annual "College of Chapters" held the first week of each year for Commander training. The other is Grand Chapter, occurring every two years. Both are educational, but more specifically, they grow our young men in ways that leave me in awe.

Q: What has Sigma Nu meant to you over the years?
A: Sigma Nu has been and continues to be an organization that not only fosters growth of the mind, heart and character of our young men, but as a lifelong commitment, continues to do so for me personally. It has fulfilled the mission of lifelong friendships for me, and I cannot put a value on that. I am proud that my son is on this same path.

Q: You've been a longtime volunteer for the Fraternity. Why do you feel called to continue to invest your time?
A: Other than the lifelong commitment to Sigma Nu that I made as a collegiate, it's the tangible and intangible payback that you get on this investment. You see it in talking to staff, visiting our headquarters campus in Lexington and most importantly, seeing it in our collegiate leadership year after year.

Like Al, you, too, can include a meaningful gift to Sigma Nu in your estate plan to benefit future generations. Contact David Mainella at or 540-463-1030 to learn about your giving options.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Sigma Nu Educational Foundation 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

Bequest Language

"I give, devise and bequeath (the sum of/percentage of/residue of my estate) to the Sigma Nu Educational Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation with principal offices in Lexington, Virginia, to be utilized for the general benefits of the Sigma Nu Foundation, Inc. (for specified program of the Foundation)."

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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu 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 Sigma Nu where you agree to make a gift to Sigma Nu 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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