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An Immeasurable Impact and a Lasting Legacy

Deb Kerby

As a member of the Truman State University family, Dr. Deb Kerby dedicated herself to making our community better and helping students achieve to their fullest potential.

Our colleague and friend Debra "Deb" Kerby, dean of the School of Business, passed away on Jan. 14, 2020, at the age of 64. Since joining the Truman State University accounting faculty in 1982, Dr. Kerby devoted herself to working with students and improving the University. She took great pride in the success of all the business and accountancy students who passed through Violette Hall.

A native of northeast Missouri, Dr. Kerby was in the first class of Pershing Scholars. She earned both a B.S. and an M.A. in business education from Truman and continued her education, earning a Master of Accounting Science from Northern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Additionally, Dr. Kerby held both CPA and CMA certifications.

Dr. Kerby's impact on Truman and her students was immense. She directed the Master of Accountancy program, served as convener of the accounting faculty, coordinated the University's Higher Learning Commission activities and chaired many University-wide committees. In 2011, Dr. Kerby became dean of the School of Business but chose to continue her connection with students as an academic advisor.

Commitment to Truman led Dr. Kerby to accept membership on the Truman State University Foundation Board, a position she held for six years. During that time, Dr. Kerby led efforts for securing funding for Truman and for the School of Business.

Deb KerbyBut Dr. Kerby's generosity extended beyond her time and talents and included a commitment to giving back to Truman financially. By establishing the Kerby Family Business Excellence Fund, Dr. Kerby set in motion a way to continue enhancing technology and learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff within the School of Business. The fund provides scholarships and supports faculty by providing resources to attend academic conferences and additional opportunities for research.

Dr. Kerby set an example for all by supporting her alma mater with current cash gifts, but she also looked to the future and set up Truman as beneficiary of her IRAs and as beneficiary of one of her life insurance policies. This combination of current and planned giving will make the Kerby Family Business Excellence Fund one of the premier endowed funds. Her impact on Truman and our students will live on because of her foresight.

If you would like to make a gift to the Kerby Family Business Excellence Fund, you may do so on this page. We also invite you to share a memory or story about Dr. Kerby's impact if you would like. To learn more about how you can make a lasting impact at Truman through planned giving, please contact Marie Murphree at 660-785-4124 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Truman State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Truman State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Kirksville, Missouri, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Truman or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Truman as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Truman as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Truman where you agree to make a gift to Truman and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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