couple ties the knot, renews ties with alma mater

Cory and Cassie Bittner Celebrate Lasting Bond with Planned Gift

 

Cory Bittner and Cassie Bittner

A lot has happened in Cory and Cassie Bittner’s lives over the past two years. They got married in October 2019 at the Carriage Club in Kansas City, honeymooned in Costa Rica just before the pandemic halted travel and purchased their first home.

Cory counts one other event as equal to these major life changes: becoming a member of the UCM Alumni Foundation Board of Directors in April 2019.

Since then he has joined the leadership team for MuleNation’s Kansas City chapter, reconnected with professors and connected with current students. He has also interviewed alumni across the country for a YouTube series he created called Central Missouri Alumni Stories.

“I felt such a connection to the university when I was there and was afforded all kinds of opportunities I don’t think I would have had anywhere else,” he says. “Upon graduating I felt like I was ready to move on to the next chapter in my life, but I did not feel like I was ready to just let my college experience fade.”

Cory and Cassie (Rauscher) both graduated from UCM in the 2010-2011 academic year — Cassie, ’10, with a degree in Child and Family Development and Cory, ’11, with a Public Relations degree. Although they sat next to each other in Robert Fernquist’s sociology class, they didn’t start dating until a few years after graduation when they met again at a social gathering in Kansas City. Cory was able to track his old classmate down using the phone number she had given him to ensure she didn’t miss one of Fernquist’s famous pop quizzes.

Cassie got a job as a preschool teacher after graduation. Her desire to help the children who learned differently compelled her to earn a Master of Applied Science and Assessment in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She now works at the Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training as an autism trainer and interventionist.

Cory completed an internship in college with Jake Falcon, who is now his business partner at Falcon Wealth Advisors, a wealth management firm they co-founded in Mission Woods, Kansas. The partners have earned recognition from Ingram’s Magazine and appeared on Forbes’ list of America’s Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors.

As chief operating officer, Cory uses the skills he learned in UCM’s PR program to produce content marketing through a weekly video, podcast and blog on financial planning. His PR background also helps him communicate complex financial and tax-related subject matter to clients in plain English. It’s no wonder he has thought more than a little about his own wealth management and the legacy he and Cassie want to leave.

Joining the UCM Alumni Foundation Board of Directors opened Cory’s eyes to the possibilities for giving back to the university where he and his wife met and spent transformative years of their lives. He saw that a good chunk of the money donated to the foundation is allocated to specific areas and wanted to make a planned gift that the university could use wherever it’s needed most. He decided to make UCM a partial beneficiary of a life insurance policy, with an approximate 40/60 split benefiting the PR program and the unrestricted Central Annual Fund, which helps meet the university’s greatest needs.

“It was a way for us to give back to the institution that we both feel afforded us the foundations for our careers,” Cory says. “It’s where we met, where we learned, where we grew up … it paved the foundation for the rest of our lives.”

Cory and Cassie encourage other young professionals to start thinking about what is most important to them now rather than waiting until late in life.

“At a young age it’s important to have a plan,” Cassie says. “Giving back to UCM through this avenue will not have a financial impact on our lives but allows us to support the university we both love. We never would have met if it wasn’t for UCM.”

There are many ways to leave your legacy! To learn more, contact the UCM Alumni Foundation's Office of Planned Giving at 660-543-8000, giving@ucmo.edu or ucmo.giftlegacy.com.

 

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