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Impacting the Lives of Truman Students

Ellen and David Clithero

Ellen and David Clithero

"I owe Truman a great debt for who I have become professionally and the friends I have made throughout the years. And, of course, Ellen," says David Clithero.

David and Ellen Clithero met while working at Truman State University and as a couple have been able to impact the lives of students through their planned gifts.

Early in his college days, David became involved in a number of student activities. This involvement led him to join the Tel-Alumni campaign in its first year. This early experience, calling alumni to talk to them about giving back, gave David valuable experience. Even though a career in advancement was not his goal, Tom Shrout, vice president for University advancement, and Dr. Charles McClain, University president, saw David's potential and offered him a position in advancement at Truman.

Ellen's experience with Truman is quite different. Ellen lived on campus as a child while her father earned his B.S.E. degree through the GI Bill. Ellen's dad then taught at Truman and served as the advisor for the Echo yearbook and the Index student newspaper. The campus became Ellen's workplace as an adult with roles in the business office and advancement. After earning her degree in psychology, she became an academic advisor. According to Ellen, her relationship with Truman is multifaceted as it is and always will be "home."

After working in advancement at Truman, David took a position with Washington University in St. Louis. He returned to Truman to head up planned giving and government relations. In fact, David helped to build Truman's planned giving program. As director of planned giving, he started the Opportunities newsletter and has set the bar for those that followed him. He also became a charter member of the Joseph Baldwin Society by making Truman the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. According to David, he felt that if he were going to ask others to give through planned giving vehicles, he should do the same.

With that philosophy in mind, David and Ellen have given back to Truman in a variety of ways including through charitable gift annuities, a multi-year pledge and through a bequest of part of their estate. Through their selfless generosity, David and Ellen have created two scholarships—one to support students from Northeast Missouri and the other for students with an interest to study abroad.

Both David and Ellen have dedicated a significant portion of their professional lives to Truman with a passion for helping students. Now through a variety of creative planned gifts, they are leaving a legacy that will continue to help Truman students through scholarships for years to come.

To learn how you can help transform lives through a bequest, contact Marie Murphree today at or 660-785-4124. Or, visit us at

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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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