On a Road Scholar bike and barge program along the Rhine and Mosel rivers, Dr. Steve Brugler found the medieval
church ruins and youth hostel in a castle in the small German town just as he had left them. Forty-five years earlier, after graduating from Stanford University, he had biked along the fabled European waterways and spent a night in the hostel.
Now, Road Scholar enthusiasts, Steve and his wife Gayle still have a passion for active learning adventures. "The best way to soak in a culture and landscape," Steve said, "is by bicycle or on foot. It's the pace we enjoy and the camaraderie we develop with the group along the way."
Gayle concurred, "And the expert guidance from our group leaders and instructors make us know we're not just tourists."
With Road Scholar, the Bruglers biked through the French countryside, past poppy fields and vineyards to the remote and seldom-visited Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte. Here, the Bruglers learned about the building's architect and interior and landscapes designers who created the "Louis XIV style." The trio would later go on to create the Palace of Versailles.
Gayle, a former teacher, is a docent at Stanford's Cantor Arts Center, an antiques dealer and avid gardener. She values the intellectual stimulation as much as the outdoor activities of Road Scholar. "We were on a fascinating program in Mesa Verde, Colorado," Gayle said. "We went to the home of one of the instructors who has studied ancestral Pueblo pottery making. What a magical moment to learn about something so close to my work at the Art Center. When we returned, I gave a talk about the theory behind the Pueblan technique and showed sample pots made in the ancestral Pueblan tradition."
Because the Bruglers value their Road Scholar experiences so highly, they give back by
contributing to the Annual Fund. They found another way to support the organization. It had been 15 years since the Bruglers originally prepared their wills and living trust. Since then, their children have established careers of their own, and Steve retired from his career as an electrical engineer, so they decided to review and update their estate plan.
"For the first time, we chose not just to provide for our family through our wills, but to include bequests to charitable organizations. It was a major change in our thinking," said Steve. "We are now giving back to organizations and causes we believe in through annual giving and charitable bequests, and that gives us great enjoyment."