SUU In View (Alumni Magazine - Fall 2003)
We are all very much aware of the enigma our nation and state economies have experienced in recent years. As a result of this vexing situation, many of our alumni and friends are re-evaluating their financial situation including gifts to charities, including Southern Utah University.
Commensurate with this state of affairs, Southern Utah University finds itself facing the challenge of fulfilling its educational mission in an environment of state budget cutbacks.
Indeed, as time moves forward, public universities throughout the United States including SUU, must garner increasingly higher levels of private financial support to ensure the viability and integrity of its education programs for future generations.
This is where each one of us comes in. Many are already making annual gifts, so important in providing much needed scholarship support. Others have made very substantial gifts in support of students and programs at the University. All of these gifts have made a profound and positive impact on SUU and its programs, but much more can and must be done to help the university achieve its august destiny. And thus, the affirmation expressed by many of our alumni and friends, "I wish I could do more."
The good news is that there are many ways to give, including some we may have never even thought of. Most of us think of cash when we make a gift to the university, but it may surprise some, that many of the largest gifts given to SUU are not cash gifts, but are instead, gifts of stocks and securities as well as real estate. As important as current or outright gifts are to Southern Utah University, deferred or planned gifts, play a requisite role in ensuring the continued success of this institution.
Planned gifts reach across generations and can have a profound and positive impact on the life and financial strength of the University. Typically, these gifts are made from assets rather than income and provide important financial support to SUU in future years. Some of these include Bequests from Wills, Charitable Trusts, Gift Annuities, and Life Estate Gifts. Each of these gift choices provides remarkable tax advantages to the donor and, in some cases, substantial income for life.
YOUR NET WORTH
How long has it been since you sat down and analyzed the value of your estate? You may be surprised to find that your net worth (assets, minus liabilities) is much higher than you thought. By the time you add in the value of your residence, other real estate and securities, you may discover that you have built a sizable estate. And as far as SUU is concerned, even if your cash and income are tight, you may find that your estate has enough assets to provide for you and your family as well as enough to make a sizable gift to SUU.
INVEST IN THE FUTURE
A gift to Southern Utah University is, in reality, an investment that will generate positive returns to span the decades.
Stocks and Securities
While cash may be the easiest way to give, it may not be the best giving choice for everyone. By giving stock that has appreciated in value, you may be able to reduce or even eliminate capital gains tax while receiving a tax deduction for the full fair market value. Consult your financial advisors for tax advice.
Much like gifts of stock, a gift of real estate is tax deductible at full fair market value. The donor is not taxed on long-term capital appreciation. Normally, a tax deduction of up to 50% of Adjusted Gross Income can be taken with a tax deduction carry-over of five years, if needed.
Life insurance policies allow donors to make significant gifts to SUU. The policy can name the university either as beneficiary or as owner of the policy.
Bequest by will
Bequests may be made of entire or partial estates after other inheritance intentions are honored. They allow the donor to avoid estate and inheritance taxes while retaining lifetime use of their assets. This is the deferred giving option most commonly used by donors. It is both simple and straight forward. The Development Office appreciates being informed when the University is designated as a beneficiary.
This gift option is a situation in which a donor gives a home or farm to the University, retaining the right to live on the property for life. Similar to other gifts of appreciated assets, the donor may qualify for a charitable tax deduction based on the fair market value of the property as well as avoiding the payment of capital gains and estate taxes. Consult your financial advisors for tax advice.
LIFE INCOME GIFTS
This gift of cash or other assets pays a fixed percentage of its value as lifetime income to the donor. The gift guarantees a fixed annual income, as well as an immediate tax deduction on the gift. For donors well into their
retirement years, this gift option may actually provide higher monthly income than life insurance annuity programs, with the additional benefit of earning an immediate and substantial charitable tax deduction.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
This trust, funded with cash or other assets, pays a fixed annual income to the donor for an annuity trust or a percentage payout of the value of the trust assets for a unitrust.
Upon maturity, the trust assets revert to SUU. A tax deduction is immediate, based on the rate of return and projected life expectancy of the donor or donor's beneficiary. The trust is not subject to probate or estate taxes.
For more information about these and other giving choices including estate planning and wills relative to charitable giving, please contact the Development Office of SUU at 435-586-7775 or log on to www.suu.edu/ad/advancement
June Thorley ('48 education), through gifts of property, has been able to significantly contribute to the scholarship endowment fund at Southern Utah University. Mrs. Thorley has extensive ties to SUU. Her grandfather, George William Decker, was the fourth president of the institution (BNS 1904-1913). While attending Branch Agricultural College she served as student body vice president and also graduated with the first class of four year graduates. The June Thorley family has decided to donate part of the family property to SUU using a charitable remainder trust. This type of trust works best for people who are between the ages of 55 and 80, who can benefit from the income stream, tax advantages, and investment flexibility it provides while still providing for their families. "Many people don't realize how big a tax hit you can take when transferring property to heirs," says June Thorley. "The charitable remainder unitrust is one answer to the appreciated land dilemma," says Lori Blackner of SUU's Development Office, who has helped many people with charitable contributions as part of their estate planning. The history of Southern Utah University is replete with instances of community support. The Thorley family and other families like them perpetuate this legacy of generosity and are helping to build a better SUU.
Student Speaks Out On Scholarship Impact
The impact a gift can make in the lives of SUU's students cannot be overstated. Here is just one story of many as related at the 2003 Spring Scholarship Luncheon. Shannon Cox, the recipient of a scholarship at SUU stated, "I attended SUU on a single mother scholarship this past year. As a single mother I know that the best way for me to provide for my children is to finish my education. Because of the scholarship I received I am able to focus on school and spend my time studying instead of worrying about financial troubles. I can concentrate on the things that are most important to me now, including my children. If it weren't for the scholarship I would not be able to be the kind of mother to my kids that I want to be. I am here at SUU today because of the love and extreme generosity of our wonderful donors. Without them many of us would not be able to attend school. Because of you I can continue on with my dream of having a college degree. I can be where I need to be right now so that the future of my family will be taken care of.
I don't know how to express in words what it means to me, that donors are so willing to share. You are giving us more than just money, or a chance at a formal education, you are giving us hope and dreams and the chance to achieve our goals."
Volunteer "Mailing Maniacs" Keep Shakespeare Publications Going Out
Have you ever stopped to wonder just who puts labels on the all of the Shakespeare mailings? Is it done by a professional labeling service, or is it done by a machine? For over forty years now a group of dedicated volunteers have been meeting in nooks and crannies, meeting halls and theatre lobbies, and anywhere else space is available at the moment to perform this vital service of labeling the mail pieces for the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespearian Festival. Not only do they affix labels but sometimes they fold, sort and stuff envelopes as well. An average year will have them preparing nearly 750,000 pieces of mail for the postman. The tradition is as old as the Festival and over time they have named their group "the Mailing Maniacs." Most of them are retired but one shouldn't think that they don't know how to have a good time and work hard. They've been known to do the Macarena and the Hokey Pokey. They are friends and neighbors who turn a most mundane task into fun. They are like Huck Finn who conned his friends into whitewashing the fence with the difference being that they don't sit idly by and watch...they live by the old adage...the more the merrier. They welcome all who will to participate and become instant friends to those who are willing to spend a little time with them.