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Billy Watterson '96

Billy Watterson '96

For Billy Watterson '96, giving back and being prepared go hand-in-hand for a successful life. The serial entrepreneur and University of Findlay Trustee is deeply committed to philanthropy - and deeply grateful for the generosity of others.

"I give to UF because I am appreciative of the opportunities, including scholarships, that have enabled me to build a successful career," he explained. "I also want to see the University be better and offer more than when I was in school."

For Watterson and his wife, Brenda, the priorities of philanthropy and giving back ultimately are based in his Christian faith.

"Jesus teaches us the power of assisting the underserved. The greatest thing you can do is provide an opportunity with shared resources."

With a childhood often spent visiting food banks for the next meal, he has seized opportunities through hard work and perseverance to build several successful businesses, support entrepreneurs in the restaurant and brewery industries, and establish foundations to underwrite charitable works.

Mr. Watterson's generosity includes a bequest to the University of Findlay, and he encourages young alumni to include UF in their wills and financial plans.

"I believe that those who have graduated from University of Findlay have graduated from a family. Those who walked before us contributed to UF and the opportunities that you and I have received. It's such a great way to continue a flow, a legacy, and a perpetual wave of people helping people."

Although the need for wills and estate planning may seem far off, he emphasized the importance for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s to be prepared.

"Having an estate plan is an essential way to protect and allocate any assets you have. The reality is if you can envision yourself passing and leaving behind accounts, property, jewelry - and not making arrangements - who will make those decisions?" he pointed out.

"Give it some deep thought now about where those assets will go: to children, relatives, charities? If you don't have a last will and trust, someone else will be making those decisions for you."

Mr. Watterson, who earned a bachelor's degree in environmental and hazardous materials management, shared that his favorite college memory is the sense of family and camaraderie he experienced with fellow Oilers.

"I've always appreciated the intimacy of the University. When I first arrived, it was like moving into a small town. I never felt invisible or forgotten in the crowd."

If you are interested in joining Mr. Watterson in leaving a gift to University of Findlay in your estate plans, please contact our office by email at [email protected] or call 419-262-1833. Together we will make education more affordable and enrich the student experience for future generations of Oilers.