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Grateful Couple Gives Back to Future Students Through Endowment

Truman's transformation into Missouri's premier public liberal arts and sciences university has inspired students and alumni alike. Currently ranked for 20 consecutive years as the No. 1 public university in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges," Truman was also named in 2015 as the No. 1 public university in the nation on Consumer Digest's list of the best value colleges and universities.

While top rankings are encouraging, Truman's focus is on a successful outcome for its students. Truman's freshman-to-sophomore retention rate and its graduation rate remain the highest of any public college or university in the state. Results like these provide evidence that Truman excels at giving students the resources they require to be successful.

However, there is a threat to Truman's continued success. The funding environment surrounding higher education is changing at a rapid pace, placing universities like Truman at risk. Mark Hickman '77 and his wife, Edie, recognize this threat.

"We know that all institutions of higher learning are under intense and increasing pressure to find and efficiently utilize the resources needed to accomplish their missions," Mark says. "This is especially true for public universities as they struggle with low population growth and financial pressures on the government and on the population as a whole. This passes a responsibility to those who are able to help, even in a small way."

To ensure students have resources to access a Truman education and to ensure Truman has the ability to attract talented students, the Hickmans have established the Mark and Edith Hickman Endowed Scholarship with an estate gift commitment of $500,000 in retirement plan assets. Giving IRA assets is a generous and a smart choice. Tax-deferred retirement assets are heavily taxed when left to heirs. With income taxes alone, the IRS could take up to 39.6 percent of the value. By naming Truman as the beneficiary of these assets, they are putting the full amount to philanthropic use.

The Hickmans' scholarship will support students with a strong record of academic achievement and financial need.

"It was not always easy for us when we were in school," Mark recalls. "We hope that our gift can ease some of that struggle for some young person with the wherewithal to give it a try."

Here's How You Can Help
If you would like to learn more about how you can support future generations of Truman State students with a legacy gift like the Hickmans have given, please contact Marie Murphree at 660-785-4124 or

eBrochure Request Form

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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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