Don and Dima Snyder

Through his excavation work, Don Snyder has moved a lot of dirt for new buildings on Bluffton's campus.

Don and his wife, Dima, have also helped the university move forward through their giving.

The Bluffton residents' support has included, most recently, a gift in kind of five lots of land adjacent to Hidden Creek Golf Club, south of Beaverdam. The in-kind gift represents one of the many ways that prospective donors can aid the university, while receiving tax advantages as well. An independent appraisal of such a non-monetary gift and approval from Bluffton's administration are required as part of the process.

People sometimes forget they have abilities that would allow them to give in alternative ways, Dima Snyder said. She noted that she and her husband have made several gifts in kind—as well as other gifts, through pledges and estate planning—to the university.

Members of Bluffton's Heritage Society, the Snyders support the university because it has supported their excavating business—and continues to offer an academic program they value, Dima explained.

"We both believe in the Christian education of young people," she said. "We've just felt the money was going to go to good use."

In one form or another, Don Snyder Excavating has been in business in Bluffton since 1963, she added, and "I think he's done the site work for all the new buildings (on campus) since 1968." A friendship with Darrell Huber, retired director of buildings and grounds, helped cultivate the relationship with the university, which she called "a good business partner for us."

Giving to Bluffton is the Snyders' way of showing their appreciation for an association that has made them feel like "part of the university family," said Dima. And they have supported Bluffton Hospital, Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio and other local organizations as well.

"We've been very blessed in our business," she said, "and it's just our way of giving back to the community."