A $44,900 real-estate gift made to Whitworth University (then College) in 1976 was recently sold for $1.15 million! The donors, Leonard “Bud” Myhre and his wife, Loretta, loved Whitworth’s mission of mind-and-heart education. Bud served on the Whitworth College Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1992; during his tenure on the board he declared, “I firmly believe in the Whitworth theme of Jesus Christ as an essential part of the college education.” The Myhres’ daughter, Sharon, graduated from Whitworth in 1966.
Bud and Loretta owned a small parcel of land in downtown Seattle that had been in Loretta’s family for generations. With Bud’s foresight that the property might increase in value over the years, they gave the parcel to Whitworth with the hope that the university would benefit in the future. The property was subject to a 99-year lease, with almost 50 years remaining.
The Whitworth Foundation board of directors oversaw management of the gift, and several times in the course of a 38-year span the lessee offered to purchase the property. Each time, the foundation board declined the offer, believing the value would continue to increase. In spring 2014, an acceptable offer was finally negotiated. Bud Myhre passed away in 2006, but Loretta and their children are thrilled that their gift will provide Whitworth with significant funds to help construct the new Cowles Music Center. The university honors Bud & Loretta for their creative philanthropy and encourages you to think outside the box as you consider supporting Whitworth.