Gift Planning

Hirsh gift supports scholarship and students in need

By Jesus Jimenez, Assistant Director of Editorial Services

Dick Hirsh '65 and his wife, Marcia '66, have spent their careers giving back. This Miami Merger couple has been generous not only to Miami, but to their many other philanthropic interests throughout their lives. Through exceptional volunteer roles as well as generous financial gifts, they have impacted a number of causes near and dear to their hearts.

After graduating from Miami, Dr. Hirsh attended New York Medical College earning his M.D. in 1969. He trained in the field of diagnostic radiology, later concentrating on breast imaging. In 1996, he founded Radiology Mammography International (RMI), a nonprofit organization that brings donated mammography equipment and breast cancer education and training to underserved regions around the developing world. He led many breast-cancer mission projects to places such as Nicaragua, Colombia, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal, Serbia, Macedonia, Kosovo, Vietnam and many other countries, sharing tools and providing hands-on training to local radiologic technologists and physicians and surgeons, resulting in improved/earlier diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.

Marcia earned her degree in elementary education and entered into a career of teaching and later of volunteering in local public schools in areas such as the ESL program, working with homebound students, remediation in reading and math and recruiting tutors for Akron Reads, the community tutoring partnership.

Seven years ago they established the Richard '65 and Marcia Hirsh '66 Scholarship in support of premed and predental students in the Mallory-Wilson Center for Healthcare Education program. This fund focuses on supporting students with the greatest financial challenges.

More recently they added the Student Success Center to their areas of financial support at Miami. The Student Success Center supports students with food insecurity issues as well as personal emergency needs. And the recent challenges facing students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic have heightened the need for emergency support.

Dr. Hirsh returns to campus several times a year to meet with students and faculty at the Mallory-Wilson Center. He often has opportunities to deliver presentations on the importance of volunteerism. He truly enjoys receiving letters from students who have been impacted by his philanthropy. "Those of us who have an opportunity to give back feel the joy when we meet students impacted by our efforts," Dr. Hirsh says. "We just want to make a difference."

Dick and Marcia have been thoughtful in how they make their gifts as well. By contributing through their individual retirement accounts, they have been able to make very generous contributions each year and are able to make larger gifts than might otherwise be possible. Qualified charitable distributions from IRAs allow individuals to make direct contributions up to $100,000 without paying income tax on the distribution—and the distributions count toward the annual required minimum distribution. (Note: The RMD requirement has been waived for 2020, per the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020.)

For more information about how you might use a QCD to impact Miami students, please contact Miami's Office of Gift Planning at 513-529-1286 or

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 give to Miami University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 725 E. Chestnut Street, Oxford, OH 45056, 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.

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 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 Miami 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 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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