Janice Waud Loper: Planting the seeds of legacy
Alumna Janice Waud Loper picked up more than just the seed of an idea when she pocketed an acorn while on a visit to Geneva. She established a legacy.
Janice carried the acorn to her first residency in the Master of Arts in Leadership program as a symbol of growth and transformation. Now, that symbol stands for opportunity for new students in the School of Leadership Studies through the Acorn Scholarship established as a planned gift by Janice and her husband, Warren McKinnon.
Janice says it’s satisfying to think of others gaining as much from the leadership program as she did. “We know there will be students at Royal Roads for years and years to come who will go through the program like I did, and will feel supported by our gift. It’s a great feeling.”
As Vice President Development for the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care, Janice knows how tough it can be for many people to talk about mortality and to plan their estates.
“Considering that the process of estate planning might actually be fun helps people not get too dour about it. People gain a tremendous sense of pride in seeing the fulfillment of their values through planned giving,” she says. “We did – it’s a great feeling to know that we will be remembered through our gifts.”
Together, they have established 15 funds at organizations across the country related to the arts, sports, families, communities and education, including at Royal Roads.
“We have had a wonderful and inspiring time planning our legacy. The experience has allowed us to crystallize our values and discuss our life achievements and loves.”
That positive impact in the present is a big part of their joy in planning the future, she says.
“One of the most rewarding things in this process has been the chance to meet with people associated with the organizations we have chosen to support, as I have done with Royal Roads,” she says. “Sometimes in my work, I don’t have the opportunity to meet the donor of a planned gift. And I feel that’s a shame, because the rewards of being appreciated are inspiring.”
Janice encourages others who are planning their estates to speak with foundation staff about their values and hopes. “The foundation knows what’s possible and they are there for you. They are delighted to talk to you,” she says.
Estate planning is not only a way to connect with people in the present, Janice says, but it provides a way for people to connect with your values in the future.