My Perpetual Scholarship Fund
By James Fletcher BN '69
In addition to providing for family members and making donations to churches and other philanthropic institutions I admire, my desire was to establish a perpetual scholarship fund to benefit Drake students majoring in finance and real estate who are working their way through college.
I did not have the funds to attend Drake University after graduation from high school, so I joined the Air Force and completed my first year of college at Ohio University and the University of Maryland while stationed at nearby bases. After four years of service in the military, I attended Drake full time. Other than part-time jobs during school terms and summer jobs, the GI Bill was my only support.
I feel very indebted to Drake for giving me a great education in business fundamentals. Throughout my 40-year career as a commercial real estate broker, the courses in accounting, finance, statistics, business law and marketing were tremendously helpful in my success and establishing the groundwork for further education in my chosen field.
My goal in establishing the scholarship fund was twofold-to avoid estate taxes and pass on those funds for the benefit of students who need help to achieve their educational goals in the College of Business. In order to accomplish this, I have set up a revocable living will and trust that will fund a charitable remainder trust when I am gone. Drake's planned giving director and staff were of significant help in working with my estate planning attorney and providing me with information to achieve this end.
I sincerely hope other Drake graduates look into the benefits of charitable remainder trusts to help future Drake students, as well as explore the tax benefits that accrue to the balance of one's estate. I have the assurance that my estate funds will achieve the maximum benefit to society, and I believe it will inspire the students who benefit from the scholarship to do the same.