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'Loyal and Grateful' Alumna Shares Why She Gives

Q&A With Pamela Popp

Pamela PoppOriginally from the St. Louis area, Pamela Popp resides in Denver and is the executive vice president of Western Litigation Inc. She has nearly 30 years of health care risk management experience, ranging from direct claims management to program internalization and development, risk program consulting (risk assessments, crisis response, education), industry volunteer leadership and operational management of WLI.

As a Pershing Scholar at Truman, Pamela was active with the Student Activities Board and Delta Sigma Pi and worked with incoming students in the Admissions Office. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Truman, a dual master's degree from Webster University in St. Louis and a juris doctorate from Saint Louis University's School of Law.

Pamela is past president of Truman's Colorado Alumni Chapter and currently serves on the Chapter's executive board and also as a member of the Truman Alumni Board. She has documented a six-figure planned gift commitment as part of Truman's "Thanks a Million, Dr. McClain!" fundraising initiative.

Q: What motivated you to arrange a planned gift commitment to support Truman State University?
A: Everything that I have is, in some way, tied back to the beginning that Truman created. It only makes sense to return some of life's benefits back to the place that showed me how life can be what you want it to be. I learned who I was and what I was capable of thanks to Truman.

Q: Why is it important to support Truman through charitable giving?
A: Truman changes lives—each and every one of the students who have passed through the campus, the classrooms, have been changed by what they experienced there. Once you are changed, you understand what a benefit it is and why it needs
to be preserved.

Q: What do you want to accomplish with this gift?
A: I want to know that I have contributed, in some small way, to the preservation of Truman. The school has been in place since the 1800s—and it needs to be there in the 2800s.

Q: What specific event or circumstance prompted you to document this deferred gift with the Truman State University Foundation?
A: I am a lawyer and know the value of having decisions documented. Documentation is important so that there isn't a misunderstanding in what may have been your desires. It takes only moments to write it all down, and with those moments, you formalize something that allows your gift to be continued as you wanted.

Q: What were your reasons for choosing to make this gift commitment through both a bequest and designating Truman as a beneficiary of life insurance?
A: Insurance policy beneficiaries have traditionally been family members, but my family members don't need my assets to be successful. Knowing that they are already secure allows me the opportunity to share assets with students who may not have that security [and] for whom every financial aid dollar makes a difference.

Q: How does participating in charitable giving to support your alma mater make you feel?
A: Loyal and yet grateful. Knowing that the gift is there reminds me to revisit my memories over the years and enjoy again my experiences (including a few laughs at our silly student antics).

Learn More
Learn about the many ways you can support Truman State University in the future by contacting Marie Murphree, 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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