Westmont Magazine A Big Return on a Small Gift
As alumni of Wheaton College in Illinois, Wiley and Marilyn Bunn know the value of a Christian liberal arts education. Wiley transfered to USC, where he graduated and also attended law school, and Marilyn completed her degree at Whittier College. But they benefitted greatly from the small classes and relationships they developed with professors during their time at Wheaton.
For elementary school, the Bunns sent their four children to Pasadena Christian School, and Wiley says it is the best money they ever spent. After attending public high schools, all four went on to Christian colleges.
Three attended West-mont and two, David ’81 and Barbara ’75, graduated. An attorney like his father, David earned his law degree from Pepperdine. The two work together in the Pasadena firm Bunn & Bunn, specializing in estate planning, probate and trusts.
“When he first started practicing, David came to work with me,” Wiley explains. “Now that I am semi-retired, I work with him.”
Barbara earned a master’s degree from Fuller Theo-logical Seminary and an M.S.W. from Denver University and has a marriage, family, and child counseling license. She lives in Colorado Springs, Col., where she places special needs children in the school system.
Doug and Carolyn both graduated from Seattle Pacific University in Washington. Doug went to medical school at USC, trained at the Mayo Clinic, and now works as a cancer surgeon in Syracuse, N.Y. Carolyn taught at Pasadena Christian School before staying home to raise three sons.
Because they value small liberal arts colleges, the Bunns have endowed scholarships at both Westmont and Seattle Pacific. Each year, the Bunn Family Scholarship Fund provides crucial financial assistance to a Westmont student.
“My experience at Wheaton was so superior to the education I received at USC,” Wiley explains. “The difference was very marked. We’re delighted to support Christian education.
“Actually, our gift was quite modest, and we are very pleased to see how well it has been managed and how much the endowed fund has grown,” he continues. “Westmont has done a great job of managing our gift.”
“Most Christians aren’t in a position to make major gifts,” Marilyn adds. “Many people give first to their church and to other ministries as well. A modest gift handled properly can really be effective, given a few years. It’s been exciting for us to see that our gift to Westmont is really making a difference in the life of a student.”
Marilyn has been involved in stewardship at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena, Calif., where the Bunns have worshiped for many years.
“The great big gifts are important,” she notes. “But the consistent, faithful giving of the average person really carries the work.”