Family of William C. Sheavly '50 Honors His Life With Gift to UA

William "Bill" C. Sheavly may not have spent many of his 90 years in Akron, but the time he did spend as a student at The University of Akron — where he was a member of Theta Chi and earned a degree in 1950 - made a lasting impression. So much so, that following Sheavly's death on January 23, 2014, his four children were delighted to honor his life by presenting the University with a generous gift earmarked for scholarships.

The gift from Bill Sheavly's estate has been designated as the first gift toward UA's newly established BRIDGE Scholarships, which assist deserving, full-time UA students complete their degrees by providing funds for tuition costs that are not covered by merit scholarships or state and federal grants.

"My father had a real fondness for The University of Akron and what it did for him," wrote Sheavly's son, William H. Sheavly of Virginia Beach, Va., in a letter to the University, "which is why I am pleased to tell you that on behalf of my brother Mark of Reisterstown, Md., and my two sisters, Rebeca Thomas of State College, Pa., and Ann Wilmer of Westminster, Md., that The University of Akron is to receive a gift from the Sheavly Trust for academic scholarships."

Born in Morgantown, W.Va., Bill Sheavly spent his youth in Rochester and Canandaigua, N.Y., and graduated from Canandaigua Academy. He enrolled at The University of Akron but left to enlist with the U.S. Army following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bill spent his enlistment with the 69th Infantry Division and the 29th Division in Europe as a driver and chauffeur. He received numerous awards, including the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge. After his honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to his studies at UA and earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.

By all accounts, the younger Sheavly was spot-on when he wrote, "Dad had a remarkable business career. He loved retail, and it was with him until the very end."

After earning his degree from UA, Bill joined Western Auto Supply and worked in Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, and eventually Maryland. Bill served in a number of capacities — from running a store to overseeing a group of stores to advertising — until his retirement at age 55. The seasoned salesman then went to work as an independent representative for Curtis Industries, with automotive customers throughout the Baltimore area in a territory so large and lucrative it was divided into thirds after his second retirement at age 70. Still not content to enjoy his golden years, Bill volunteered his expertise at the Reisterstown Senior Citizen Center and at the time of his death was the store manager for Westminster Ridge, the retirement community where he resided.

Bill's life included community involvement as well. He was a member of the Oriole Advocates, who gave away souvenirs at Orioles games, and he spent two decades as a volunteer with the Baltimore County Police Department. He and his late wife, Reba Jean, also traveled the world, attending functions and reunions with the 69th Infantry Division Association and were honored for their 10-year service as souvenir chaircouple.

"Dad was a funny, well-liked man with a quick wit, and everyone fondly called him the Mayor of Westminster Ridge because he was so involved in all kinds of activities," wrote William in his letter, "so, on behalf of all of us who loved him dearly, please accept the enclosed check in his honor and his love of The University of Akron."

Every student who benefits from a BRIDGE Scholarship is grateful for the thoughtfulness and generosity of the Sheavly family. BRIDGE Scholarships assist deserving full-time students and serve as a way to bridge the tuition gap — those costs not covered by merit scholarships or state and federal grants. BRIDGE Scholarships allow students to enroll full-time and remain focused on their studies, reduce drop-out rates, decrease financial stress, and shorten the road to graduation — contributing significantly to student success.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University of Akron Foundation a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to The University of Akron Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 302 Buchtel Common, Akron, OH 44325-2603, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the UA Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the UA Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the UA Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the UA Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the UA Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.