Giving Remains at the Heart of BVU Experience for Minnesota Couple
As alumni whose experience at BVU was made possible by generous benefactors, Jeremy and Wendy Peichel are committed to providing future students with the same opportunities by giving back.
While various items change from year to year in the budgeting process for Wendy (Lehman) ’07 and Jeremy ’09 Peichel, one allocation remains top-of-mind.
“BVU is No. 1 on our giving list every year,” Jeremy says. “Our commitment to BVU is a part of us, something we do every year.”
The Peichels, who provide financial support to the BVU Library, Annual Fund, and the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, gratefully acknowledge the gifts they received—and earned—during their time as students. They join in the support of a wide network of BVU alumni and friends ensuring quality instruction, state-of-the-art facilities, experiential learning, and co-curricular opportunities continue for current and future Beavers.
Any number of experiences they enjoyed as Beavers helped shape the couple:
- They traveled internationally.
- They served as tutors and academic advisors.
- Wendy played in the band and sang in the choir.
- Jeremy served as Student Senate President.
The liberal arts experience coupled with the ways in which professors challenged and grew close to them continue to impact both as successful professionals.
“BVU professors like Timothy McDaniel, Dr. Stan Ullerich, Dr. Bradley Best, and Lisa Best showed me, in their unique ways, how there are different methods to solve a problem. BVU was a great lab for me, one that helped me satisfy all kinds of interests.”
“As someone who didn’t have the means to pay for college, what BVU did for me in the way of instruction, experience, and travel, it all meant so much to me,” says Jeremy, the first in his family to attend college.
Jeremy, whose time as a BVU student was interrupted with a deployment to Iraq, serves as the founder/owner of Civic Intelligence, LLC, which offers public policy consulting for state and local governments. Wendy, who began her career in the BVU Library, now serves as a ParaPlanner for Strong Tower Wealth Management.
The Peichels, who earned Trustee Scholarships as BVU students, began giving back to BVU when they wed, realizing benefactors who preceded them helped position the University, a “hidden gem” for a pair of native Minnesotans.
Impressive scholarship offerings, the student-to-faculty ratio, a gorgeous lakeside campus, and BVU’s first-in the-nation 1-to-1 laptop initiative played roles in Wendy’s enrollment.
Jeremy found BVU through an Iowa Private College Week endeavor in 2001. He joined the Minnesota National Guard prior to his graduation from Burnsville High School in 2002. BVU administrators held his scholarship for one year as he completed Advanced Individual Training for the Army.
He majored in public administration, political science, and environmental science. He also participated in Mock Trial and worked for 2Fix when he wasn’t studying or drilling with his military unit, a unit he joined during a two-year deployment, 18 months of which was spent in Iraq. Jeremy earned the Army Commendation Medal, among other citations, during his tour of duty.
He returned home three weeks before the couple’s wedding in August 2007. Jeremy then resumed his BVU undergraduate career and time at 2Fix as Wendy worked in the BVU Library.
“The liberal arts experience is the piece that probably meant the most to me,” Jeremy says. “BVU professors like Timothy McDaniel (Assistant Professor of Mathematics & Quantitative Business), Dr. Stan Ullerich ’82 (Professor Emeritus of Economics), Dr. Bradley Best (Professor of Political Science), and Lisa Best (Professor of Business Law & Political Science, and Dean, Harold Walter Siebens School of Business) showed me, in their unique ways, how there are different methods to solve a problem. BVU was a great lab for me, one that helped me satisfy all kinds of interests.”
Instruction in finance and economics drove Wendy, who worked at Central Bank as a teller and attended the prestigious Mises Institute, a weeklong economic seminar in Alabama. She also attended one of the annual meetings for Berkshire Hathaway. McDaniel and Ullerich, she says, served as mentors, as did Henry Hardt (Professor Emeritus of Business Law & Finance), who guided her through the practical steps of tax preparation and more.
Jeremy would earn a pair of master’s degrees through the University of Maryland as Wendy worked in finance and accounting, eventually earning the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Now busy employees, they’re also active parents, helping direct the education of their two children, Liam, 9, and Nora, 6, joining millions of others who work to supplement what teachers cover online as the COVID-19 pandemic moves daily classes to remote learning.
COVID-19 has also caused them to miss the place that brought them together: BVU. They vow to return once the country emerges from the pandemic, seeking to explore the renovated Harold Walter Siebens Forum, an expanded 2Fix, the renovated BVU Library, and more.
“We often return for the American Heritage Lecture Series,” Wendy says. “It’s always great to be back on campus and reconnect with professors and staff we worked with during our time there. We’re just so grateful for the whole experience we had at BVU.”