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Creating Endowed Funds

Creating Endowed Funds

Ron Kostich, class of '63, may never have set eyes on Westminster College before attending here, but he has never forgotten the strong friendships and warm memories that were fostered in his four years at Westminster.

When Kostich graduated from a California high school, his cousin Stan Zydlo, a Chicago physician who graduated from the College in 1956, told him what a great school Westminster was. On Zydlo's recommendation, Kostich applied to Westminster sight unseen. He was not disappointed. Kostich was active in his fraternity, Sigma Chi; played tennis; and was a member of the ROTC unit. As he put it, "I came to love the philosophy of that small school."

Today, Kostich calls himself retired even though he leads an extremely busy life. He retired as Senior Hospital Specialist with Abbott Labs of North Chicago in 2001 and currently lives in a California condominium.

One of Kostich's main outside interest is the future of Westminster College. He has remained connected to his beloved alma mater, becoming a member of the President's Club from its inception and returning to campus every year for the President's Dinner. He was quite honored when President Lamkin asked him to consider becoming a member of the Westminster Board of Trustees and attended his first meeting in October, 2007.

However, Kostich's commitment to Westminster is not only personal, but financial as well. When he worked with his attorney to provide for his own financial security and the financial security of his family, he also planned for the financial security of Westminster College. After setting aside enough for his own needs and the college education of his two grandchildren, Kostich updated his personal trust to direct a significant amount of his estate to Westminster College in the form of three testamentary endowed funds.

The first fund he established is the Kostich Endowed Scholarship to help students receive a Westminster education. The second fund is an endowed scholarship for a member of his fraternity. This scholarship, which pays tribute to the wonderful relationship he shared with his fraternity brothers, is called the Kostich Sigma Chi Fraternity Endowed Scholarship. A third endowed fund will provide assistance to the new educational outreach programs at the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library in the United States. The Memorial has launched a series of outreach and on-site educational programming for elementary, middle school, and high school students that will stimulate an interest in the foundations of Churchill's leadership.

The Churchill Memorial gift will be a great benefit in bringing Churchill and his model of leadership alive to schoolchildren across Missouri. Preserving the history of Churchill's legacy fits well with Ron's other passion of Civil War history. Kostich belongs to a travel club called HistoryAmerica Tours that makes it possible for him to visit famous Civil War battlefields such as Gettysburg and immerse himself in the lives of the people, the strategies, and decisions that shaped this critical time in our nation's history.

"Since I had funds available, I wanted to leave a mark on my school and fraternity," Kostich says. The three areas that he has chosen-providing educational opportunities, encouraging Greek life, and supporting Westminster's treasured Churchill Memorial-are all important foundations of the Westminster experience. Ron Kostich's generosity and vision will certainly have an impact on Westminster and because of his gift and the gifts of so many other grateful alumni, Westminster will in turn leave its mark on generations of students to come.

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