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 firstname.lastname@example.org.