David ("Buz" to his friends) and Shirley Smuckler are very, very good when it comes to numbers. Their favorite number, however, is probably 22. That's how old Shirley was when she began planning for the couple's retirement. Such extraordinary foresight might sound superhuman to many people, but to Buz '60 and Shirley '59 MEd, their diligence was part of a philosophy that has allowed them to give back to the institutions and causes they believe in. "Our investments have become a passport to let us help people," Shirley explains. "It is an honor and a privilege to be able to give to future generations."
Buz and Shirley decided that a planned gift to AIC is the best way for them to give back to the college they feel set them on a path to happiness and prosperity. Buz is especially grateful to AIC for accepting him as a non-traditional student when he enrolled after serving in the United States Air Force. He was older and more world-wise than most of his classmates, yet he initially felt underprepared for college life. Buz says AIC built his confidence and gave him the skills he needed to embark on a successful 25-year teaching career. His fondness for the College is still very apparent, as he easily recalls the names of professors he studied under decades ago (names like Professors Sprinthall and Brennan and Gadaire). While Buz finished his studies, Shirley, though she'd already completed her degree, enrolled in finance courses with Professor Courniotessessions that sparked her lifelong interest in finance and helped her become the accomplished investor she is today.
When asked about their willingness to give to causes they believe in, Shirley doesn't hesitate: "Well, you can't take it with you!" she says with a smile on her face. She then adds thoughtfully, "Maybe we were put here to be a benefit to others. Life isn't about What can I do? or What can I acquire? It's about Who can I help? How can I make my life experiences, my money, and assets count toward the benefit of others?" Their planned gift to AIC will undoubtedly benefit many others, as future generations of AIC studentslike Shirley and Buz before themwill acquire the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to one day pay it forward, following the fine example the Smucklers have already set.
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