Gift Planning

Life events inspire alumna to give back

Written by alumna Joyce Ann Hayes Harn, Class of 1956.

The theme of my words today has to do with TIME.

It is now 2021: This serves as both the beginning point, and for today my ending point.

Strange and wonderful and exciting how one event in a person's life can lead into another event several years later.

Hopefully, this round-robin will share its magic with you.

We are entering the 1950s next: My beautiful days at Miami University were from 1952-56, as a member of the Class of August 1956. If you remember me, you have to be pretty old. I celebrated my 88th birthday in February of 2021. While I was at Miami, I was blessed with scholarships and grants and jobs to help me through the financial aspects of my education.

Let me take you to 2008: Having retired from my teaching career of 33 years at the age of 55, I finally found the time to join a Woman's Club. It is called the Neptunian Woman's Club because of its proximity to the ocean at Manhattan Beach, California. The purpose of the Club is philanthropic. We hold events which raise money that goes to different town needs, such as the library, the fire house, etc. However, our greatest amount of money is spent on college scholarships going to very deserving high school seniors from our local schools. My next-door neighbor invited me to join her for the closing meeting for that season. It was quite a lovely affair. Luncheon was served in our clubhouse as we hosted the honored student scholarship recipients and their parents. The students came forward introducing themselves and stating their field of study and the university accepting them. The very first recipient nearly knocked me out of my seat! She was a music education student, and she was going to be attending the beautiful Miami University campus. After the luncheon, I had to go talk to the girl and her dad, Donald, to find out the "why" of her choice. It happened that she and a girlfriend visited several campuses that summer and she chose Miami above all the others because of its beauty, campus layout, gorgeous trees, and wonderful architecture, and of course academic opportunity.

Let me move you to another timeframe – 2020: I had a catastrophic fall in my home and did major damage to my right side. My very fine surgeon managed with the help of metal strips, screws, and staples to put "Jack" back together again. I was confined to the hospital for two months.

Later I was faced with additional medical life-threatening complications. My lungs ceased functioning normally. There were whispers, "Will she make it?" and "Chances are she might not…" I heard enough to consider my future – if there was one. I was placed on hospice care. My dear departed, husband, Keith and I had made plans to leave our home and all the fun stuff in it for our children and their children.

We had a savings account designed to be used for our retirement. I was faced with deciding the best use of this money. Now my mind went back to when I watched that young girl state that she wanted to use her scholarship to study music education at Miami University. I also remembered all the help I got from Miami through grants and scholarships and work programs in order to finish my own music studies.

This quickly led me to the beauty and magic of creating my own scholarship to help some other young persons in the future. It is truly overwhelming to realize the depth of how such a gift can change so many lives. These thoughts caused me to want to reach out to the young girl who inspired me to create the scholarship.

We have now returned to 2021: I didn't have the recipient's name, so I contacted the officers of the Neptunian Woman's Club and asked if they had the old records – and sure enough, they found her name in about two minutes. I spoke to her mother, Pamela. Pamela confirmed that her daughter, Piper Suzanne Redman, attended the event that day with her father, and that Suzanne is currently teaching music for fourth and fifth grade – near me in Long Beach.

That, my dear friends, is my blessedly happy story. And I am indeed grateful to have had the TIME to see my very special dream of assisting future music education students at Miami University come to fruition!

Joyce has named the Miami University Foundation as beneficiary of her retirement account to establish the Joyce Ann Hayes Harn Scholarship. This scholarship will help many future generations of Miamians studying in music education have the same great experience and opportunity that she had. There is still time for you to make an impact at Miami too – reach out to Miami's Office of Gift Planning at 513-529-1286 or for assistance.

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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