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Thanking Truman for 'a Wonderful Career and a Good Life'

Couple Give to Keep Students Focused on Their Studies, Not Work

Michael and Gerry Ready

Michael and Gerry Ready support several named scholarship funds and have created their own endowed scholarship.

Philanthropist, Bulldog, alumni leader ... These are only a few of the roles in which Geraldine "Gerry" (Toth) Ready ('70) truly excels.

Gerry's lifelong commitment to Truman and its progress can be traced to her college experience and the foundation for future success.

"The education, encouragement and mentoring I received at Northeast Missouri State College allowed me to grow, prosper and enjoy a wonderful career and a good life," Gerry says.

A week after graduating in August 1970, Gerry found herself in New York City working for J.C. Penney.

"During my career in merchandise and systems development, I repeatedly saw that a person with a well-rounded education was, and is, a tremendous asset to any profession. I wanted to help ensure that Truman State University continues to graduate individuals who are liberally educated and can apply what they have learned to any profession they may choose."

Her commitment to providing scholarship support for current students can also be traced to her undergraduate years. Gerry worked full time at a minimum wage job to pay for her college tuition and her living expenses.

"We know that it is no longer financially possible for a student to work full time at a minimum-wage job and pay for a full course load of classes, room, board, fees and incidentals, and study efficiently at the same time without substantial financial assistance from parents or student loans - leaving the student saddled with enormous debt when they graduate," Gerry says.

So she and her husband, Michael, decided to support the University with their charitable gifts.

"We wanted to help a student graduate with a minimum of debt, and knew that by combining our gift resources we would be able to accomplish this goal several times over."

Over the years, Gerry and Michael have contributed to several existing scholarship funds honoring former educators who were influential in Gerry's education and the education of countless others. Among these are the Dr. John D. Black Memorial Scholarship, the Charles Kauzlarich Scholarship and the John P. Mullin Scholarship.

"By supporting their named scholarship funds, we honor their memory and help to ensure that their legacy of teaching, mentoring and caring for students lives on," Gerry says.

In 2012, Gerry and Michael created their own endowed scholarship to focus a portion of their giving toward assisting students from their home states of Missouri and Vermont, who demonstrate financial need and significant leadership potential. The Michael J. and Geraldine M. Ready Scholarship Fund was established with a six-figure planned gift commitment of life insurance proceeds coupled with IRA assets.

"We knew that we wanted to leave a legacy gift to Truman State University," Gerry says, "and naming Truman State University as beneficiary was a very simple way to accomplish it."

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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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