By James Ponder


Ice cream is Bill Swatek's favorite dessert while his loving wife Rose prefers baked goods and pastries. So when Ron Watson, the couple's planned giving officer at Loma Linda University, proposed a trip to Cold Stone Creamery in Loma Linda on Wednesday July 18, 2012, Rose only agreed after he promised to take them to a bakery the following week.

The couple whose gift sparked construction of the Centennial Complex at Loma Linda University credits a doctor visit for bringing them together.

"I was a nurse at a clinic on Sanitarium Hill," Rose Swatek recalls. "Bill had problems with his ears and came for treatment. Later, he came back for new eyeglasses." Rose's roommate, who knew Bill from college, claimed he was her boyfriend. Rose thought otherwise. "I was more interested in Rose," Bill confirms. On his third visit to the clinic, Rose suspected he had romance in mind. She was right. The couple married on April 17, 1946.

Sixty-six years later, the Swatek's are discussing the impact of a promise Bill made in 1949 to the College of Medical Evangelists, as LLU was called in those days. "Someday," he vowed, "I'm going to come back and show my appreciation to the school."

For the next five decades, Bill worked in or directed the pathology laboratories of hospitals in Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, and Mississippi. In 1982, after telling Rose it was time to slow down, he "semi-retired" by running three hospital laboratories, performing forensics exams for three counties, and teaching pathology. In 1988, the couple retired in Loma Linda. Once again, Bill found idleness difficult. For the next seven years, he substituted for physicians on vacation, finally relinquishing the stethoscope at 75.


Over the course of their lives, the couple raised a family, worked hard, and amassed a considerable estate during the 66 years (and counting) of their life together. By working with Ron Watson, a planned giving officer at Loma Linda University, the Swatek's established a series of financial instruments to pay the bills and provide supplemental income to their children as well as benefit the university.

Interested in developing estate plans that would benefit Loma Linda University, Bill and Rose met Ron Watson and Gary Oliver at the 1988 Annual Postgraduate Convention. Although the Planned Giving officers suggested they contact an attorney about their estate, the Swateks preferred to work with the Office of Planned Giving.

Rose and Bill never regretted that decision. Mr. Watson and Mr. Oliver helped set up unitrusts to pay the Swateks' bills, opened unitrusts to provide quarterly income for their children, Claude and Pam, and established a revocable trust so that when Rose and Bill pass away, their estate will establish several endowed funds.

Loma Linda University President Richard H. Hart, MD, DrPH, who has known Dr. and Mrs. Swatek for most of his life, says their support of the new Founders Plaza and other important projects will bless the campus far into the future.

"Bill and Rose are unpretentious, hard-working, and totally committed to the values of Loma Linda University," Dr. Hart reflects. "They lived frugally, invested wisely, and always planned on giving back. "Their generous support will impact this institution for generations to come."

For more information on unitrusts, revocable trusts or creating an estate plan, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at Loma Linda University by phone at 909-558-4553, by email or online at

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health 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 Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda 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 Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda 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

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