Something for now, something for later.
“Whatever you do, always give back” was one of the earliest life lessons Dr. Brett Ferguson learned from his father. “My dad was a postal worker who always gave to the church. He expected a lot of me, and when I’d found my life’s path he made it clear that there was still more for me to do.”
Dr. Ferguson recalls the quandary he faced as a mid-career academic OMS, juggling requests for financial support from multiple deserving alma maters. “Naturally, I wanted to give to all of them—they’d helped shape and advance my career,” he said. “And I wanted to support AAOMS and the OMS Foundation, too. But I didn’t have that kind of money to give away. A financially savvy buddy of mine solved my problem by suggesting that I collectively list those organizations as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy. It was easy, inexpensive and tax deductible, and suddenly I was a philanthropist.”
Dr. Ferguson went on to serve as an officer of AAOMS and in 2018 became its President. He currently serves as the Chair of the Dept. of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and is a Director of the OMS Foundation. Still, he believes, there is more to do.
“Leaders have an obligation to ensure that there’s a pathway to success for the next generation, so Rita and I have diversified our giving strategy to include “something for now and something for later,” he said. “As recurring donors to the Foundation’s Annual Fund we get to see our giving bear fruit in our lifetimes, and our RV Walker commitment via that insurance policy supports research and education after we’re gone. None of this was complicated; the hardest part was getting around to it. But it sure feels good to give back when life has given us so much.”