Ernie and Greta Pressman

Ernie and Greta PressmanWhen Greta and Ernie Pressman go for a walk on the University of Oregon campus, they allow extra time. At every turn, faculty and staff members stop the recently retired couple for hellos and hugs.

During his career in human resources, Ernie met with hundreds of his UO colleagues, one at a time, answering questions about benefits and helping them plan for retirement.

Greta, as campus relations manager for the facilities department, worked to find solutions to problems big and small, as related to the smooth operation of building systems and services.

They loved every minute—and now this ordinarily reserved couple encourages others to join them in supporting the university through estate planning.

“You read about people who are making large gifts during their lifetimes, and I admire them very much, but for most of us the way to do it is through a bequest,” Greta says.

“We’re unable to make large contributions right now, but by spelling everything out in our wills, we know eventually there will be a contribution of some significance.”

When they made out their wills, they began by having a thorough discussion about what mattered most to them.

Both feel strongly about the importance of universities. They agreed to target their support toward two areas at the UO.

First, to help make sure cost won’t prevent someone from coming to the university, they decided to make a substantial contribution to PathwayOregon, which covers tuition for eligible Oregon high school graduates.

They also share a love for the state of Oregon that they’re expressing through significant support for the university’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

For Greta, a third-generation Oregonian who grew up near the UO and has fond memories of playing on campus, the university is like a living organism. Her grandfather, a finish carpenter, helped build the art museum and Chapman Hall.

“We sustain our university through contributions from generation to generation,” she says. “All of us average givers, together, make these programs possible.”

Learn how you can make a gift to the UO through your estate plan. E-mail or call our office, 800-289-2354.

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