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When Learning Lasts a Lifetime

Karen Branding

Karen Branding, LA’82, made a gift to Drake University to train residence hall assistants.

Tucked in the corner of Karen Branding's basement are her notes from nearly every class she took during her years at Drake.

"I am usually very lean and decluttered, but I can't part with my Drake notes because I learned so much," says Branding, LA'82.

While she holds on to those archives as a reminder of her academic achievements, she says some of her most influential experiences at Drake happened outside the classroom as a residence hall assistant (RA).

"Equally important to the academic learning and growth was what I got out of being an RA," says Branding, senior vice president for public affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "What I learned as an RA is what I have applied in my business career. It was a wonderful leadership development opportunity for me. I learned about myself, my leadership style, and collaborating with other people."

Providing Training for Future Leaders
Her experience as an RA was so influential that Branding wanted to ensure future Drake students would have equally powerful experiences. She created a fund at Drake to provide training and development opportunities to current and future residence hall assistants.

"I hope my gift helps RAs uncover the best part of their leadership style so they can impact Drake and also prepare for the next stage of their lives," she says.

Through her will, Branding has also created a scholarship fund so students from St. Louis can attend Drake without financial worry.

"The scholarship means a lot to me because I love St. Louis and I have great pride in helping people from St. Louis advance their lives," she says. "Being able to go to Drake is just a wonderful opportunity to pass on to someone else after I am gone."

Help Drake Students Thrive
Give other students the opportunity to experience Drake University by providing a gift in your estate plans. Contact John Amato, 515-271-2849, or to learn more.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Drake 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 Drake University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2507 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50311, 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 Drake 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 Drake 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 Drake 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 Drake where you agree to make a gift to Drake 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.