Wade Garber capitalizes on financial planning know-how to support UO

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Wade Garber is a man with a plan for building up a significant estate gift  to support the Lundquist College of Business.

“They say when people are near the end of their lives, they often start talking about things they wish they had done,” he says. “A gift like ours is something that you can plan for now and feel good about the rest of your life.”

Garber, who is making the gift with his wife Sally, grew up in Lake Oswego and chose UO for its business programs, graduating with an emphasis in marketing in 1980. High on his list of fond memories of student life are cleaning Mac Court “top to bottom” with teammates on the ski team, long nights studying in the library, and meeting up with buddies at Duffy’s or Taylor’s.

During the summers, he picked up a variety of jobs to help pay for college from baiting hooks and cleaning fish as a deckhand on a salmon charter to selling automobiles, building fences, and painting houses.

When he graduated into one of Oregon’s worst economic recessions, Garber felt lucky to get on with a furniture rental company that paid only a commission on sales. Now he is marking his 38th year as a wealth manager and certified financial planner with Northwestern Mutual in Lake Oswego.

He says supporting UO bring his life full circle.

“It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, knowing that there’s something in my life’s work that will go to benefit others just starting out,” he says. “I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the foundation the UO gave me.”

In looking at options for making an estate gift, Garber chose to leverage some of his life insurance policies by signing them over through a charitable beneficiary arrangement with the UO Foundation.

“Nobody wants to deal with their own mortality,” he says. “But when you start thinking about things you would like to support, there are a lot of ways to do it. You do not need to have significant wealth to leave a piece of your estate to support something you care about.”

—By Melody Ward Leslie, University Communications

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