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UT Austin Gift Planner – March 25, 2008

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Welcome to The University of Texas at Austin Gift Planner, an online resource for professional advisors in the estate and financial planning industries. The Gift Planner provides practical information on gift planning issues, reports new developments in charitable giving techniques, connects you with leading professionals, and informs you about key events and resources at UT Austin.

March 25, 2008
Vol. 1, No. 3

Coming events: Professional Advisors Day, April 25

The Office of Gift Planning and the UT Austin Gift Planning Advisory Council invite you to Professional Advisors Day 2008.

Friday, April 25
Two hours of CLE and CPE credits approved.

8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Seminar for professional legal and financial advisors
The University of Texas at Austin, ACES Building

6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Sunset dinner cruise on Lady Bird Lake (optional)

Saturday, April 26

10:00 a.m. – noon
Tour of the Blanton Museum of Art (optional)

Hotel Information

Doubletree Guest Suites-Austin
303 West 15th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Reservations: 512-478-7000
Special Rate: $149 per night for April 24 and 25
Use reservation code “UT Development Office Group”
Reservations must be made by March 29 to receive this rate.


2008: A great year to help UT and keep income for life

In 2008, 2009, and 2010, the tax rate on long-term capital gains from sales of stocks, mutual funds, and other securities is scheduled to drop to zero for people in the two lowest ordinary income brackets. This change can benefit clients owning appreciated assets and wishing to support UT.

If your clients are in the 10 percent and 15 percent federal tax brackets — single taxpayers with a 2008 estimated taxable income less than about $33,000 or married filing jointly with taxable income less than about $66,000 — creating a charitable gift annuity funded with appreciated securities in 2008 could:

  • Make a wonderful gift to UT Austin and increase their lifetime income.
  • Provide mostly tax-exempt payments for many years to come.
  • Avoid any tax on capital gains.


Tom and Mary, a retired couple, are 78 and 77 years old, with taxable income of about $60,000 a year (15% tax bracket). Years ago they paid $12,000 for stock that is now worth $20,000, and their advisor has been urging them to sell. Currently they pay 5% on their capital gains.

They decide to transfer the $20,000 in stock to The University of Texas Foundation Inc. in 2008 for a charitable gift annuity. They know that when they’re both gone their gift will be used at UT Austin as they requested. They will receive an annual lifetime income of about 6.6% on the $20,000, or about $1,320 each year. So long as they’re in the 10% or 15% tax bracket for federal income tax in 2008, they won’t pay any capital gains tax, and more than 50% of their $1,320 annuity will be tax-free income through the middle of 2021. After that, they’ll pay federal income tax on the entire $1,320 each year.


Online services and resources for advisors

The UT Austin Office of Gift Planning website includes a page For Professional Advisors devoted to helping you meet your clients’ charitable-giving interests and needs. You will find information on how to help your clients leave a charitable legacy, sample language such as bequest and trust language, and forms that can be easily downloaded, a planned-gift calculator, and more.


Everyday excellence

Excellence occurs every day at UT Austin. This new section will highlight a UT student and feature his or her thoughts on life and academia. Meet Vince Holmberg, winner of the Hertz Fellowship and the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship for his work in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Vince HolmbergHolmberg is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Chemical Engineering and is working on the supercritical fluid synthesis of semiconductor nanowires. He is a member of the Korgel research group.

Q&A by Elisabeth McKetta, May 2007

How did you become interested in chemical engineering?

I have always loved chemistry, but as an undergraduate I found that I wanted to study something with more mathematical rigor. As a result I ended up getting bachelor’s degrees in both chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Chemical engineering is a very centralized field that allows for interaction with people from a variety of disciplines and provides a very good balance of chemical and mathematical knowledge.

How have you found UT’s graduate program in chemical engineering?

The University of Texas has a very strong program in chemical engineering, and I only see it expanding and getting stronger. The professors in the program have a wide range of expertise, and the graduate students are very enthusiastic about their research. The new Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology is also a huge resource. All of this makes UT an ideal environment for collaborative research.

What have been the most exciting elements for you as a scientist/researcher?

I love the idea of making new types of materials and doing things that haven’t been done before. In the back of my mind there is always the thought that something I do could have a significant impact on science and technology. I owe a lot to Professor T. Andrew Taton and his graduate students for getting me excited about nanoscience as a freshman at the University of Minnesota.

What sorts of projects are you working on?

Right now I am focusing on synthesizing new types of precursors for semiconductor nanowire growth and attempting to develop a solvent based process that doesn’t require supercritical reaction conditions.

What was your initial response to being named Hertz finalist and ultimately winner?

I am still in disbelief over the whole situation. It was definitely the most difficult interview process I have ever been through. It’s hard to comprehend that out of all the science and engineering graduate students in the nation only 15 people received the Hertz Fellowship. It is a huge honor to be included among such a distinct group of scientists and engineers, and I am very grateful to all of the people that helped me get where I am today.

How will winning the Hertz change or expand your research?

Winning the Hertz Fellowship will give me a lot more flexibility and freedom to take my research in any direction I choose. I am also hopeful that it will bring about a number of potential collaborators.

What are your plans after graduating?

Graduation is still a long way off for me, but I would love to eventually become a professor or work in a national research laboratory, and I still haven’t ruled out a career in industry. Regardless of which path I end up taking, I hope to continue conducting research at the forefront of science and technology.