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Supporting Tomorrow's Leaders

Balagna"I gave my parents that first dollar that I earned after college," says Mary (Josephine) Balagna, a 1953 graduate of Truman. After graduation, Mary borrowed $100 from her parents to tide her over until she received her first paycheck. When she paid them back, she included an additional crisp $1 bill representing the first dollar she earned.The crisp $1 bill remained in her mother's wallet until she passed away. Mary recognizes that without her parents' encouragement and support she would have not been able to attend Truman and then later teach. In their honor, Mary established the LMB Memorial Scholarship.

"I knew that I always wanted to be a teacher, but I did not know how I thought I was going to become one," Mary recalls. After graduating from high school, she had no plans to attend a four-year college. Her father, on the other hand, was passionate about his only child securing a college education. Mary's father, a self-educated man, worked hard on the family farm and mined coal. "I think he wanted me to go to college to make my life a little easier," Mary says. Her mother, who was not as vocal about the importance of education, encouraged Mary in her own way by sending her $2 every week to buy essentials while she was away at Truman.

"I did not have a single experience at Truman that was not a positive one," Mary says, reflecting back to her college days. She truly enjoyed every single one of her courses and professors, and she was especially fond of Dr. Nan Wade."There was so much zest in her lectures, and she made the books we read come to life," Mary says. She kept most, if not all, of her books from Dr.Wade's courses. Mary also stayed very involved at Truman as a member of Cardinal Key, Pi Kappa Sigma, Association of Childhood Education, and the Panhellenic Council. Today, Mary is impressed by the changes at Truman."I like that the University has branched out to become a leading school in other areas outside of education," Mary says."Truman has done a great job of keeping up with the times."

After graduating from Truman, Mary took her first job as a second-grade teacher at Monroe Elementary in Davenport, Iowa, where she taught for 36 years."Monroe was an equal opportunity educator," Mary says. "I attempted to educate every student that walked through my door."

Mary also made it her mission to give her students opportunities they would not normally have the chance to experience.When Charlotte's Web came to the Davenport theatre, Mary got balcony tickets for her class. After the play was over, she snuck her students on an "unofficial tour," knowing that many of them had never been to such an ornate theatre. The class was amazed by the chandelier.

When they returned to the classroom, Mary had the students draw pictures of their field trip. "Every single student included the chandelier!" Mary says. She is grateful that she was able to live her dream of becoming a teacher, and says, "In my parents' honor, I want to help someone realize their life's dream too."

In 2006, Mary established the LMB Memorial Scholarship to support students studying nursing, physical therapy, communication disorders, occupational therapy, and other areas of applied science. She chose to support these areas because of the great care her parents received from their nurses, doctors, and technicians.

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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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