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Perhaps the idea of giving back for Fred Turnage ('43, JD '48, P '66, P '76) came about as a result of his time spent as a student at Wake Forest. A student from the "Old Campus," Turnage recalls the brick paths meandering through a forest of magnolia trees, with clusters of aromatic blossoms creating an overall campus beauty that "almost takes your breath away." More than that, he remembers the positive attitude of the students, the dedication of the faculty, and the camaraderie between the two: all elements that still characterize the Wake Forest education today. "We would like to do what we can to continue the standard of excellence," explained Turnage. It is for that reason that Fred Turnage and his wife Betty (P '66, P '76) have chosen to leave a legacy gift to Wake Forest.
The Turnages are longtime leaders and extensive contributors to the University. They have stayed involved in the University community for years—as alumni, parents, scholarship donors, leadership board members, and avid Demon Deacon fans—and Fred continues to serve as a member of the Law School Board of Visitors.
"When you're out for a while, there are some things you like to go back to that give you a sense of real pleasure," commented Turnage. "We attend athletic events and get enjoyment from each visit to campus." They have also followed the student progress in the School of Law, attending Moot Court and various presentations over the years. "I've been very impressed by the students—the products—of the current law school," Turnage stated.
While they consistently donate to the University, the Turnages have also established a legacy gift that will speak of their commitment to Wake Forest for years to come. "My first obligation was to take care of my family," Turnage explained. "I had the pleasure of seeing my two children, son-in-law, and nephew graduate from Wake Forest. They are the products of a great institution, and that established an obligatory commitment on my part."
The Office of Gift Planning assisted the Turnages in establishing a bequest, a gift annuity, and a helpful use for their IRAs. The particular advantage of the gift annuity is that it serves multiple purposes. "The benefit of a gift annuity is twofold: When my wife gets older, it will give her a bit of income and it also allows her the pleasure of giving back. It helps her and it helps Wake Forest."
The Turnages have not hesitated to participate in the success and experience of future generations of Wake Forest students. "I think any citizen in this country takes a certain amount of pride when they see the achievement of those succeeding them. There is enjoyment in seeing a student find success in their endeavors; it gives you a sense of satisfaction. It also gives you incentive to see it continue."
Through the generosity of the Turnages, the Fred Turnage Professorship in the School of Law was created and maintained, an IRA will fund the Betty Turnage Scholarship in the College, and a bequest in his will leaves significant dollars for the Athletic Department to use for capital improvements.
"Wake Forest contributed to my attitude toward my fellow man," Turnage stated. "I want to see this school survive and thrive. Giving back is something that will make you feel good. It is something where you can see results." The Turnage legacy is being felt today and is a part of the University's future. It will serve as a permanent reminder of their generosity to and love for Wake Forest.
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