GSE gains $140,000 scholarship endowment

FaheysLes and Nancy Fahey plan gift of $280,000 for PSU

Les ’68 and Nancy Fahey recognize the high-quality education that PSU provides. That’s why they recently pledged to establish a new scholarship endowment for the Graduate School of Education and the School of Business Administration as part of their estate plan.

“It’s an outstanding academic institution,” Les says. “It’s where you go when you are serious about getting an education. The instructors have real world experience and the result is a practical education.”

Les enrolled at PSU after graduating from Lake Oswego High School in 1963. He played on the university’s baseball team, graduated with a business degree, married Nancy and built a career in accounting at KPMG. Over the years, he hired many PSU graduates. “A lot of our best performers were PSU alumni,” he says.

Les and Nancy have emphasized the importance of education with their two children and six grandchildren. “Our parents did not go to college, but they encouraged us to get a degree,” says Nancy, a University of Iowa graduate. Now, she and her husband give to scholarships to encourage others to earn their degrees.

They credit friend Ken Thrasher, a Graduate School of Education development advisor, with influencing their philanthropy. Ken and Les serve together as PSU Foundation trustees and on PSU’s Creating Futures scholarship campaign steering committee.

”When Nancy and I married, we didn’t have any student debt,” says Les. “Ken made us realize how important it is to help students get started like that.” As state funds for higher education decline, today’s students borrow more to cover costs. At PSU, average undergraduate debt is $25,000 and graduate debt is more than $35,000. Many educators have to put off buying homes, building families and making other life plans as they pay off debt.

The Faheys fund School of Business Administration scholarships, because Les has a business degree. As parents and grandparents, they understand the importance of good teachers and felt it was important to support students in the Graduate School of Education. Several years ago, Les retired and now serves on several Graduate School of Education and School of Business Administration advisory groups.

As part of their estate plan, the Faheys will make a deferred gift with a current value of $280,000. The Graduate School of Education and the School of Business Administration will each receive half of that—or $140,000 in current value. In addition, the Fahey’s pledged $1,000 a year for five years to a Graduate School of Education merit-based scholarship.

Les believes other alumni could do something similar—naming a primary beneficiary for their retirement funds and directing the balance to the Graduate School of Education after the primary beneficiary is deceased. 

“Les and Nancy Fahey exemplify the benefits of a college education,” said GSE Dean Randy Hitz. “In large part because of their education, they have led richer, fuller lives. Now, through their philanthropy, they are giving back to society and helping others reach their educational goals. By contributing to future teachers, the Faheys will support the education of students for generations to come.”

Philanthropy in action—planned giving

Like the Faheys, you may be able to endow a scholarship and provide support for students in perpetuity via an estate gift tailored to your situation. With a simple bequest for a percentage of an asset, such as an Individual Retirement Account or other property, you can provide for your family and give to PSU. For more information about making a planned gift to the Graduate School of Education, please contact Jaymee Jacoby at or 503-725-4789.

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