Planning Ahead Today, Supporting Students Tomorrow

Paul '97 and Joni Krueger.

Meet Paul and Joni Krueger, a couple who are helping to support Augustana through an estate plan and through annual gifts to the Augustana Fund, the Center for Western Studies and the Augustana Athletic Club.  

Remembering Augustana in an estate plan provides tax benefits and the satisfaction of helping ensure Augustana’s future excellence. Individuals who make planned gift arrangements become members of the Augustana Heritage Club.

Planned gifts include bequests through wills or living trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, gifts of life insurance, property deeded with life estate retained, charitable lead trusts and retirement assets.

Q. How did you make the decision to include Augustana in your estate plans?

A. “Having both worked at Augustana right out of college, we included Augustana in our estate plan even before we had kids. We were some of the younger members of the Heritage Club at the time! We both believe in private Christian higher education so strongly and making a commitment like this was easy.  The amount of the commitment wasn’t significant at the time, but the seriousness of it was.”

Q. What would you say to fellow supporters who may be considering a planned gift for Augustana?
“Many people think a planned gift means that you have to leave a six-figure or larger gift to Augustana. We look at planned giving as making a commitment. It is a commitment that we will deliberately include Augustana in our estate plan, no matter the amount of the gift. As the parents of three young kids, first and foremost, we are committed to taking care of them. However, we remain committed to including Augustana in our estate plan. As our lives change, we will adjust and change our estate plan, but Augustana will remain in it. We are hopeful the end result will be a significant gift. So, we would encourage others to do the same, no matter what age you are or what amount you have to give.”      

Q. You also support Augustana annually through the Augustana Fund. Can you share your thoughts about the importance of annual gifts?
“We support the Augustana Fund each year because we believe strongly in the quality of education and experience that Augustana provides. We want to maintain that excellence for today’s students as well as future generations. Having both received scholarships and financial aid as students ourselves, we want to help others be able to attend, just like others helped us.”

“There is no way I would’ve been able to attend Augustana if it wasn’t for scholarships and the financial aid that Augie offered to me as a student. My Augustana experience was lifechanging and continues to shape me today. The least we can do is to help others have that same experience,” said Paul ‘97, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish South Dakota.   

“As an administrator at Augustana, I see first-hand the students that our gifts are helping,” said Joni, Augustana’s registrar. “It’s rewarding to know that we play a small part in helping today’s students receive a quality Christian education.”

Q. How does giving back to Augustana make you feel?
“It feels good knowing that we are able to help Augustana remain strong and competitive and that our support helps students receive an excellent education. We aren’t the largest donors, but we are faithful donors. We talk often about our giving priorities and Augustana remains near the top. We don’t think there is a better investment than in education. Supporting Augustana means hope for the future.”

To learn more about Planned Giving opportunities at Augustana, contact the Office of Advancement at 605.274.5521 or visit