Gift Planning

Jim McNamee ’62 establishes scholarship fund

Inspired by his own Miami Experience, economics and finance major gives back

By Jesús Jiménez, assistant director of editorial services

Jim McNamee ’62 was in his first year at Miami University when he received a $150 scholarship.

It was a modest amount, but the economics and finance major never forgot how much that helped him in his collegiate career.

Now retired, McNamee has decided to pass on the generosity by establishing a scholarship fund to support students in need who participate in the activities that made his Miami Experience unique.

Jim has made annual contributions to establish his scholarship with gifts of cash, as well as donations of appreciated securities and, in recent years, qualified charitable distributions from his IRA account. Additionally, Jim has elected to provide for a gift from his will in order to grow his scholarship endowment in the future.

“I’ve made very modest contributions to Miami for a long time because I felt that the school helped me get my job, and my career was a success partly because of Miami,” McNamee said.

“I gave some thought in how to designate it and suggested that they offer it to people in need who are doing things that I did.”

McNamee was involved in Air Force ROTC, the Delta Chi Fraternity, the Men’s Glee Club and the a cappella choir throughout his four years at Miami.

His scholarship is intended to benefit students in need who participate in any of those extracurricular activities or pursue a similar degree.

All of those activities were helpful in developing skills that were important in his 34-year career as a banker, he said.

“Between those activities and the academics, I would say my experience at Miami was a really good one,” McNamee said.

McNamee spent three years as a member of a cappella choir before moving on to the Men’s Glee Club as a senior. He was also in Air Force ROTC and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force upon graduation.

Additionally, McNamee was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity, where he served as vice president and developed close friendships and leadership skills that proved valuable to him throughout life.

During his time at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, Illinois, McNamee received a Commendation Award and spent his spare time in the evenings earning a Master of Science degree in commerce at St. Louis University. “I am convinced that the two things that got me job opportunities were my degree from Miami, which is a well-known school, particularly in the business world, and the master’s degree from St. Louis University,” McNamee said.

McNamee joined the National Bank of Detroit credit training program in 1966 and had a 34-year career in national and international corporate lending. He spent 16 years devoted to international banking, including supervision of branch and affiliate offices in 11 countries that involved frequent travel to Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan and Mexico, among other countries. He loved the travel involved in his work and took every opportunity to explore and learn about the countries he visited.

“One of the things that I believe is that you can learn the business, but your ability to communicate is probably the most important thing in the business world,” he said. “I think the college experience of having to write papers and give oral presentations is a major reason that people succeed or fail.”

McNamee was also involved in supervising the credit training program and in recruiting future lenders from colleges around the nation, including Miami. He retired as the senior international credit officer in 2000 and formed his own company, JWM Consulting Services, Inc., to provide credit training, loan review and consulting to financial institutions and companies.

This was intentionally a part-time endeavor to allow time for golf, duplicate bridge and visiting his two daughters and six grandchildren in Colorado and Texas.

Jim and his wife, Marilyn, live in Michigan and spend the winter months in Arizona.

“If somebody gets a little benefit with what I was able to do, I’m pleased with that,” he said. “I think the most important thing is that you do what you can.”

To learn more about tax-wise giving strategies that you may be able to employ to support Miami University Foundation, 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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