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Structuring the Future for Ohio University Architect Students

Structuring the Future for Ohio University Architect Students

An architect often takes analytical and artistic abilities to create a structure that will leave a print on a city. Michael Leonard, an Ohio University alumnus who received his Bachelor's Degree in Architecture in 1973 and Masters in Regional Planning in 1975, says Ohio University is a place that structured and left a footprint, both personally and professionally, on the world he knows. Michael established a revocable trust because of his strong spirit for Athens, and because of his desire to "pay it forward", giving others the opportunities he had.

"My intent was to protect as much of my assets as possible while also keeping my commitment to the University", Michael says.

A revocable trust lets donors manage the trust's assets during their lifetime; assets are then distributed to beneficiaries according to the donor's wishes upon his or her death. Michael's gift ensures Interior Architecture and Urban Planning will support those who, like him, have the dream of becoming an architect.

Michael reflects on why he chose Ohio University, he states "I wake up every day to the love of my life who I met at OHIO. Walking out of the Galbreath Chapel on College Green as Pamela and Michael Leonard was most special to me - after that, no other charity was considered."

Originally from Dunbar, WV, Michael went to Ohio University to gain practical experience and skill. For his college thesis, OHIO provided the opportunity for him to go to Kansas City to design projects with the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. In 1981, he interned in the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas. This internship gave him the chance to work closely with architects, engineers, and planners who designed transit centers, park and rides, bus operating facilities, and implementing bus and rail services.

Michael says the revocable trust option offered through Gift Planning not only allows him to protect his assets, but provide the same educational benefits and experiences for his beneficiaries while leaving his legacy at OHIO. The revocable trust will be set up as the Pamela K. and Michael E. Leonard Scholarship Fund.

"A trust was the right way to go for us, and there was no other consideration for who it would benefit."

If you are interested in learning more about how a revocable trust can benefit your estate plans, please contact Kelli Kotowski at (740) 597-1819 or kotowskk@ohio.edu.