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Spring 2009 Texas Leader

Giving News

Texas Leader Spring 2009

2009 Texas Leadership Society luncheon

Harrington Fellow and opera singer Icy Simpson performs an aria.

Harrington Fellow and opera singer Icy Simpson performs an aria.

Whether it was opera, Machu Picchu, or sustainable energy, the 2009 Texas Leadership Society luncheon had it covered. The annual luncheon is a chance for students and faculty to thank people who have made future gifts to the University through wills, trusts, retirement plans, and other assets.

The luncheon is also an opportunity to update TLS members on University research, priorities, and challenges. “We could not do this without your help and support,” President Bill Powers said. The luncheon also featured an Idea Fair, where graduate students set up booths and discussed their research one-on-one with TLS members. Topics included addiction, childhood obesity, and astronomy.

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From supercomputers to super museums

The University of Texas at Austin is more than the sum of its parts — but those parts are pretty impressive, too. Some bragging rights:

  • The Texas Petawatt laser is the world’s highest-powered laser, an instrument that creates the brightest and densest energy field in the universe. The laser will be used to study matter under extreme conditions.
  • The Texas Advanced Computing Center operates the Ranger — the most powerful supercomputer at any university in the world and one that will transform the way computers can tackle scientific questions.
  • The Blanton Museum is the largest university art museum in the United States.
  • U.S. News & World Report’s annual survey ranks UT Austin among the top 15 public universities in the United States.
  • In 2007-08, UT Austin received $511 million in external research awards, up 26 percent in two years. The University moved from third to second in the nation in federal funding for universities without medical schools, ahead of Berkeley and Illinois and trailing only MIT.
  • Thanks to donors, the University has raised $875 million so far in the $3 billion Campaign for Texas — more than one-fourth of its goal.

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A Medley of giving

Chemist’s legacy of philanthropy spreads across campus

David MedleyDavid Medley wore his orange-and-white allegiance on his sleeve — and on his head, and on the rooftop at his Georgetown home, which proudly flew the Longhorn flag.

Until illness prevented him, he was a regular in Section 3, Row 54, of Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium, in the Erwin Center at men’s and women’s basketball games, and on Flying Longhorn trips across the globe.

Medley’s dedication also took the form of philanthropy. The retired chemical industry executive, who earned his doctorate in chemistry from UT in 1952, was a frequent donor to the University.

“I feel like my Ph.D. from The University of Texas was my union card to the business world,” Medley once said.

Medley, who died in 2008, and his wife, Rosemary, felt strongly about philanthropy. After she died in 2003, he honored the former schoolteacher with the Rosemary Morris Medley Endowment for Excellence in Teacher Training. The endowment supports UTeach, which trains future educators how to teach math and science. Rosemary was a 1950 graduate of the College of Education.

The Medleys also gave to Texas Exes, the University’s Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Medley was proud of his tax savvy, and he showed it when he gave to the University through his IRA. He decided to make an IRA gift in 2007 after Congress passed the Pension Protection Act. The law made it possible for people to give directly to charity from their IRAs without having to report the distribution as income.

“You can transfer your gift directly from your IRA, and it never shows up on your tax return,” he said.

Medley’s rollover gift wasn’t his only IRA gift to the University. He also used a beneficiary designation to give from his IRA after he died.

“It’s important for me, and I hope other people, to give back some of the things that they receive from The University of Texas,” he said.

Would you like to avoid paying taxes on your pension assets and support The University of Texas at Austin at the same time? People 70½ years and older can give up to $100,000 directly to UT Austin from their IRAs during 2009. For more information, contact the Office of Gift Planning at 866-488-3927.

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How to help UT while helping your heirs

Campaign for Texas logoThe $3 billion Campaign for Texas will enable the University to build on its strengths and take its academic programs and research endeavors to new heights. Gifts to the campaign can be made in many ways. One way to give is to loan assets to the University for a time before passing those assets on to loved ones. This is known as a charitable lead trust.

This year Congress is expected to review the federal gift and estate tax system and the amount that can be passed estate tax free. If you and your advisers believe that your estate will likely be subject to federal estate taxes, you may want to consider creating a charitable lead trust now.

Charitable lead trusts provide immediate support to UT Austin through an annual distribution of income. With careful planning, gift or estate taxes may be significantly or totally reduced on the value of the family or other beneficiaries’ interest in the trust.

For example, a donor contributes $1 million in cash to a 20-year charitable lead trust with a 5 percent annual payout. The $50,000 annual payout to UT Austin is used for the purposes designated by the donor. At the end of the trust term, the assets pass to the donor’s children with no additional gift or estate taxes, regardless of the final amount the children receive.

IRS Circular 230 Notice: The University of Texas at Austin does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice. Consequently we urge you to seek the advice of your own legal, tax, or financial professionals in connection with gift and planning matters. This communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax-related penalties.

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Giving when times are tough

How to support the University while keeping yourself afloat

Your continuing support of The University of Texas at Austin is never more important than in tough economic times. Appreciated stocks and bonds may not be available to make contributions, but there are still ways you can continue your support:

  • Name The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System for support of The University of Texas at Austin as a beneficiary of a retirement plan, life insurance policy, bank or brokerage account, or in your will or trust.
  • Roll over up to $100,000 from your individual retirement account to UT Austin. The rollover is valid in 2009 for people who are 70½ and older when they request the rollover.
  • Make a cash gift of and receive guaranteed fixed payments for the rest of your life from the University of Texas Foundation, backed by the assets of the foundation. Your rate is based on your age at the time you make the gift. Payout rates are 5.0% at age 60, 5.7% at age 70, 6.3% at age 75, 7.1% at age 80, 8.1% at age 85, and 9.5% at age 90 and older. You specify how the gift will benefit the University after your death.
  • Transfer assets to a trust that will make contributions to the University each year for a specific number of years. Then the assets can pass on to your heirs with a significant reduction or elimination of gift and estate tax on the ultimate transfer of wealth.

The best way to give depends on your situation. The UT Austin Gift Planning team is ready to work with you and your advisers, in confidence and without obligation.

For more information about gift planning, please call 866-4UTEXAS (866-488-3927), email or write to:

The University of Texas at Austin
Office of Gift Planning
P.O. Box 7458
Austin, Texas 78713

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