Alan Cherry Legacy Continues After Retirement

Five years have passed since Alan Cherry retired from LMU, yet he still feels a strong connection to the university. After all, he spent 31 years on the bluff as an accounting professor, shaping students’ lives and careers, and forming tight bonds with fellow faculty members and industry professionals. LMU is also where he met his wife, Lucy, a fellow academic who retired from the English Department.

During Alan’s illustrious career at LMU, he helped transform the Department of Accounting into a nationally ranked program, formed the Accounting Advisory Board, spearheaded the Paul A. Grosch endowment fund, and increased alumni engagement and financial support for scholarships.

Today, Alan’s legacy continues through the Alan A. Cherry Endowed Accounting Scholarship fund, started in 2015 by Teresa and Mitch Butier ’93, a former accounting student who now serves as president and CEO of Avery Dennison. The fund is fully endowed meaning LMU provides an annual distribution of approximately 5% (earned on the principal) so that deserving accounting students will receive scholarships each year in perpetuity.

Alan recently decided to take his devotion to LMU a step further by leaving a portion of his estate to the university, which will go toward supplementing his scholarship fund. Lucy is also starting an endowed scholarship fund in English through a bequest.

“I was so inspired by the efforts of Mitch and other friends who created a scholarship in my name,” said Alan. “I thought establishing a planned estate gift is a painless way to provide support down the line. Why not do it? It means a lot to me personally and continues my mission at LMU which was to build scholarships and endowed funds.”

When people hear “planned giving,” they often think it’s for older or wealthier people. However, planned giving is for people of all ages and economic statuses, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

“The process was fairly easy and didn’t require any outside help,” said Alan. “I worked through the website of my retirement account and completed a simple beneficiary designation form. Anyone with these types of accounts can designate LMU as a beneficiary.”

“This decision was easy for me and Lucy because we don’t have any children,” added Alan. “I can think of a few other retired faculty who are in similar positions who would be good candidates. I know many alumni got scholarships during their time at LMU so this is a great way to give back. Some alumni are already doing this but there could be more. I think a lot of people don’t even know this is an option.”

Alan and Lucy have escaped the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and now live a quiet life in Rancho Mirage where they enjoy swimming, reading, attending concerts at local casinos and watching NBA basketball on TV (ok, that last one’s really just Alan).

“The desert is such a special place and I feel so blessed,” said Alan. “We would not be where we are today without LMU and I’m fortunate to be in a position to continue making an impact for many years to come. My hope is that I will inspire others to do the same.”

By including a gift to LMU in your estate plans, you create a legacy of support at LMU. We can help you get started. Contact Roberta Kuhlman at for help finding the right gift for you.