Designate Life Insurance

When you name Warren Wilson as owner and beneficiary to a whole life insurance policy, you can provide a meaningful gift to the College at relatively little cost to yourself. Transfer ownership of an existing policy, or establish a new policy in the name of Warren Wilson College and enjoy tax savings as well as meeting your charitable goals.

Fran Whitfield

Scholarship support through life insurance assets

“I absolutely would not be where I am today without Warren Wilson,” says Fran Whitfield. Like many other Asheville residents in the post-Depression era, Fran was poor as a child. To earn money, she worked after school and on weekends at a Pack Square fruit stand. Her good friend Margaret often kept her company there.

“We would see two boys who were catching the bus out to Warren Wilson,” she recalls. “One day, they told us ‘you should go to school out there.’ We explained that we couldn’t afford to go to a private high school, but they said to come out anyway, so we did. We met with the dean, and we were both admitted.”

“I spent three wonderful years there. I took secretarial courses, but I had wanted my whole life to be a nurse. I remember my English teacher, Helvi Harkla, who must have read my senior paper where I talked paradeabout my hopes and dreams. She said ‘Fran, you’ve got to fulfill your dream,’ and helped me get a loan from the Presbyterian Church to go to nursing school.” Now, Fran has 51 years of nursing experience and still works with Phase I clinical pharmaceutical trials. She and her husband, Doug, live in Chapel Hill, NC, but have recreated close ties with Warren Wilson. “I went back for the first time since graduation in 2000,” she says. “I started a series of Golden Anniversary 50th reunions at Homecoming for classes from the 1950s.” With Fran’s encouragement, those classes have created several scholarships, as well as renewed strong friendships.

Fran and Doug also have created a scholarship of their own. “Doug inherited property, sold it, and used the proceeds for Warren Wilson because he knew how important it was to me,” says Fran. “He created a scholarship in my name.”

Doug also suggested that the couple make a planned gift using an insurance policy. “It was easy to do, and we had already qualified for a similar policy to benefit our church,” he explains. The couple pays the annual premium and receives a charitable deduction on their income tax. “Warren Wilson has helped so many people. It taught us a work ethic and respect for all mankind. The faculty was devoted to the students. We all worked together. Those were the best years of my life.”


If you find this story compelling, we would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about your giving desires and options.  Please contact our Office of Advancement at 828.771.2042. We look forward to hearing your story!