Gift Planning

Kahs recognize important role of athletics through scholarship

By Vince Frieden, Development Communications

Ralph and DeeAnn KahNo matter where life carried Dr. Ralph Kah ’55, he could never quite evade his passion for intercollegiate athletics or the long reach of Miami University’s Cradle of Coaches.

Kah and his wife, DeeAnn, recently paid tribute to that lifelong history by making an investment in the future of Miami Athletics. Their testamentary gift, which counts toward Miami’s $80 million Graduating Champions Campaign, will create a major endowed scholarship fund that will strengthen Miami’s position to recruit top student-athletes for generations to come.

“Miami has always been very impressive academically, but why can’t we be just as impressive athletically?” Kah said. “DeeAnn and I believe athletics are an important part of Miami’s reputation, and we saw scholarships as a way to bring together our support of both athletics and academics.”

A native of Middletown, Ohio, and the son of a Miami alumna, Kah grew up visiting Oxford and remembers spending many a Thanksgiving day watching the Red and White battle the University of Cincinnati on the gridiron.  He arrived on campus in 1951 as a zoology major, at a time when athletics were a core social element of campus life.

“I never missed a game,” Kah said. “At that time, it was unusual not to go. You’d study like crazy, and then you’d take a break on Saturday to see the football game or on a weeknight to see the basketball game.”

Kah, a retired gynecological surgeon, decided he wanted to become a doctor at six years old. Following Miami, he pursued that dream through medical school at Ohio State University. He spent 10 years there as a student, resident, intern and instructor. During that time, he and DeeAnn were regulars at Ohio Stadium, following the success of Woody Hayes’ Buckeyes on the football field while also getting to know then-assistant coach Bo Schembechler ’51.

As part of the Berry Plan, which allowed doctors to defer their military service while completing their education and residency, Kah made his next life transition in 1964 when he received assignment to First Army Headquarters hospital in New York City and to West Point Military Academy.

While the Vietnam War era was a trying time and the bugles played all too frequently at the West Point Cemetery near their home, the Kahs again found familiarity and escape in college athletics. Fellow Miamian Paul Dietzel ’48 was Army’s head football coach when they arrived, and, on the hardwood, a young Bobby Knight was coaching a senior guard named Mike Krzyzewski.  

The couple eventually returned to Middletown, where Kah spent the remainder of his career in private practice. He followed in the teaching footsteps of his mother and sisters by also serving as a clinical instructor at Wright State University and the University of Cincinnati.

As long-time season ticket holders for both football and men’s basketball, the Kahs continue to make frequent visits to Oxford. They hope their support and the overall Graduating Champions Campaign will reinvigorate Miami’s athletic tradition and ensure intercollegiate athletics remains an important part of the total Miami Experience.

“Miami gave me this great and very personal experience that left an impression on me, and athletics were an important part of that,” Kah said. “Miami should be as competitive athletically as it is academically, and if we’re going to compete at the Division I level, we need the resources to recruit against Division I schools.”

The Graduating Champions Campaign is an $80 million initiative to significantly increase student-athlete scholarship support and improve Miami’s athletic facilities.

To learn how you can support Miami through your will, trust or by using other charitable tax strategies, visit our Gift Planning pages.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Miami 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Miami University [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.

cannot be changed or cancelled

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 Miami 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Miami as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Miami 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 Miami where you agree to make a gift to Miami 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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