'Start small, start young': It's never too early to think about your legacy

Gage Chapel

Gage Chapel is supporting CU Denver students by naming CU as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy.

As a young working professional, Gage Chapel has his whole life ahead of him and yet he's already thinking about his legacy.

Last year, Gage began to work with the Office of Gift Planning at CU to establish a named scholarship for first-generation students at CU Denver. He's using a blended gift strategy: by adding CU as a beneficiary of his life insurance policy and leveraging his employer's matching gift benefit, he's able to fund the scholarship and support CU students now.

"It's odd because I'm not a first-generation college student, but it's those people who are most impacted by education," he says. "I think higher education is there to make well-rounded individuals be productive in the workforce. CU Denver is a school that focuses on education, and I always appreciated that. My dad was a professor and that's what he instilled in me."

Gage was on his way to earning a PhD in psychology when he joined the U.S. Army in 2006. He served stateside as an infantry officer training soldiers for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, he joined the Army Reserves, and the following year a corporate job brought him to Denver from Las Vegas.

But it wasn't a good fit for the young military veteran and he felt lost. On the advice of a friend, Gage applied to the MBA program at CU Denver because, he says, it was the most affordable in the area and it allowed him to get back to the workforce within a year. "And I haven't looked back since."

Now in his mid-30s, Gage works for a management consulting firm in the Denver area. He is very involved in the CU Denver business school alumni network and enjoys mentoring CU students.

Gage admires the work ethic of first-generation college students, so supporting them was the first thing that came to mind when he started thinking about estate planning. Working with the Gift Planning team was a wonderful experience that deepened his relationship with the university, he adds.

Gage's advice for those thinking about estate planning is to "start small, start young."

"I was in the Army, I know how precious life can be. Something could happen tomorrow and I could no longer be here," he says. "My generation says we want to change the world and we want to do good things, and we can. I can do amazing things with what I have right now. I'm not a millionaire, but I do really well, so let's see what I can do now to help make it better for the next generation."

It's never too early to think about the kind of legacy you want to leave. Contact the Office of Gift Planning at 303-541-1229 or giftplanning@cu.edu today.