One Couple’s Giving Benefits Many
Dr. Ron and Bonnie Albright make the support of Christian education a priority. The longtime Nazarenes from Pittsburg, Kan., have served in a number of volunteer positions at Pittsburg First Church of the Nazarene, where Ron directs the senior adult ministry and teaches Sunday school.
Recently the Albrights made a substantial gift to the MNU endowment they established in 1995 for the support of ministerial students. What makes this couple so passionate about providing the means to train young people for ministry?
“When you see the product that the school is turning out, it makes you want to do everything you can to support it,” said Ron. “We need to encourage young people to enroll in Christian universities and take that opportunity seriously.”
The Albrights met their first MNU students in the 1970s, when the university sent a singing group to Ron and Bonnie’s church. Ron, an orthodontist who graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City’s dental school in 1966, was already a strong believer in higher education. The Albrights' children were headed to college as well—one of them would go on to graduate from Asbury Theological Seminary and enter the ministry. As a father and a professional, Ron felt stewardship prompted him to support higher education, and he and Bonnie found MNU’s philosophy of education resonated with their beliefs.
The Albrights' learned more about MNU through Dr. Larry and Doris Fine. Fine, professor of practical theology at MNU, spoke at the Albrights' church where he and Ron struck up a friendship that has spanned more than 30 years. Because of their shared love for fishing and the outdoors, the Albrights invited the Fines to enjoy their vacation home in the Ozarks. Since then, Ron and Bonnie have made the cabin available to not only the Fines, but to many MNU professors. Ron views it not only as a demonstration of friendship, but as a way to support those who dedicate their lives to such an important vocation.
“What he is exposing the students to is so valuable to them as future leaders of our country,” said Ron.
The Albrights' pastor, Rev. Jim Sukraw (’74), called the Albrights “true stewards.”
“They are very remarkable people,” said Sukraw. “Bonnie has a heart for the underdog. People who come to church struggling are the ones she makes sure to befriend. They both have lived their lives for others.”
Ron understands that some people think they don’t have the means to support Christian education. In that case, Ron recommends thinking beyond cash gifts. Recently, he and Bonnie chose to transfer stock in order to build their endowment. From a tax standpoint, the move helps them while also helping the university.
“We had accumulated this stock during our working years,” said Ron. “We would just be taxed on it, and I felt it was better used as a monetary gift to the university.”
For more information about non-cash giving, such as stocks or property, contact Roger Alexander, director of development at (877) 496-8668 or firstname.lastname@example.org.