Skip to Content

"My Experience at Truman State University Changed My Life"

Todd Holcomb

Enhancing and transforming the lives of talented students is a commitment that Truman State University embraces with each new day. It is facilitated in every aspect of university life, including the classroom, servicelearning opportunities, mentoring relationships, internships, study abroad experiences, special programming and more. Change happens incrementally, as the full impact of the Truman experience culminates in a realization that is both observable and permanent. It is our responsibility to ensure that each student is transformed by his or her Truman education and positioned for even greater future achievement.

Todd Holcomb, a 1984 Truman graduate and president of Western Nebraska Community College, will testify to the power of that transformational influence. His experience as a Truman undergraduate changed his life and elevated him to more fully realize his potential as an educator and a leader. "The critical thinking and problem-solving skills I learned at Truman have allowed me to understand complex financial, communication and administrative areas," Todd says. "I have lived the Truman ideal: becoming an active, outgoing learner, appreciating the arts and diversity of people throughout the world, and applying my life toward the betterment of those around me."

Todd is now eager to help ensure that future graduates are also transformed by the Truman experience. He acknowledges that the most substantial gifts are often arranged through a gift from a donor's estate. "For many educators, retirement assets are their largest investment," he says. "Retirement providers can make it easy to designate a percentage of one's assets to various entities after death. It was easy working with my retirement provider to designate a portion of my retirement money to Truman State University."

A Tax-Smart Gift
Giving a gift of retirement assets is not only a generous decision on Todd's part, but also a strategic choice. Retirement assets such as IRAs and 401(k) plans are heavily taxed when left to heirs. With income taxes alone, the IRS could take up to 35 percent of the value. The tax implications are even greater for those estates that are subject to estate taxes. By naming Truman as the beneficiary of a portion of his retirement assets, Todd is putting the full value of that gift to philanthropic use. As a result, his gift will create an endowed scholarship through the Truman State University Foundation.

"I was a first-generation college student and paid for all my expenses," Todd says. "I received a small scholarship from a local businessman during my first year of college. The amount was probably minimal in his mind, but it made a world of difference in mine."

Todd's estate gift will also fund an endowment to support Truman's dean of students in his or her direct efforts to assist students. "Engaging, knowledgeable and caring faculty create an environment of success for students," Todd says. "With the right student motivation involved in this equation, higher education institutions become fundamental change agents in our society. However, there are always external forces, situations or emergencies that can happen in a student's life. After serving as the co-chair of the Crisis Response Team at Miami University, I witnessed how a little discretionary money in the hands of the right person can assist students or student organizations during a difficult transition period."

Todd's career has afforded him a unique perspective and a deeper understanding of the necessity for charitable giving in higher education. "As I advanced in my professional career, I witnessed how gifts large and small could change a college, university or a single student's life," he says. Donors like Todd are a vital component to the future success of Truman and our deserving students.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address