Gift Planning


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Nelson Wells Legacy Society

The Nelson Wells Legacy Society recognizes gifts made to the Bowie State University through planned giving.


The Legacy Society is named for Nelson Wells, a former slave, who gave the first planned gift to the institution known today as Bowie State University. Wells, a drayman (the driver of a low, heavy cart used for hauling) in Baltimore from 1827 to 1842, expressed a desire to leave an endowment for the education of free black children in Baltimore. Prior to his death at age 57 in 1843, Wells signed two documents, a will and letter of instructions, which bequeathed approximately $3,500 in stock of the City Corporation. At the time of Wells' death, a school meeting his description did not exist, and the legal status of a freedman's estate was questionable. Wells' gift was held by his physician and two trusted associates until the gift was provided in 1871.

Build Your Legacy

This distinguished Legacy Society honors all planned giving donors for their support of Bowie State University's mission.

We would be grateful and honored to include you in our Legacy Society if you have:

  • Provided for the BSU Foundation in your will or trust.
  • Designated BSU Foundation as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan, savings bond, bank account, or life insurance policy.
  • Created a planned gift that returns fixed or flexible income to you or others.

Your membership in the Legacy Society may be published. Any details that you disclose about your gift are held in the strictest confidence. If you wish, you may choose to request anonymity; we will certainly respect your wishes.

We welcome the opportunity to have a confidential conversation with you at no obligation. If you would like to become a member of the Legacy Society, or need more information, please contact:
Division of Institutional Advancement
Henry Administration Building
14000 Jericho Park Road, Suite 2300
Bowie, MD 20715
Phone: (301) 860-4300
Fax: (301) 860-4163
[email protected]