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Why I Give

merlin-scholl.jpgMerlin Scholl, ED '51, MS '55, EdS '69, EdD '76

Some would say teaching is in Merlin Scholl's genetic makeup—both his mother and grandmother were teachers. Growing up near Mason City, Iowa, Merlin knew that he, too, wanted to be a teacher the day he 'fell in love' with his kindergarten teacher, Miss Hazel Ziegler. From age five, Merlin was committed to making a difference in the lives of young people. 

Upon returning from World War II in 1947, Merlin enrolled at Drake University to study Education, Business, English and Social Studies. Merlin's educational expenses were supported in part by the Serviceman's Readjustmant Act of 1944 (G.I. Bill). Merlin was a serious student and actively involved in student organizations that helped him achieve his dream of becoming an educator. Over time, he earned three more degrees from Drake, all in the field of education and all because of his deep passion for education. His experience at Drake University was instrumental in achieving his goal of becoming an effective and inspirational teacher and school administrator. In 1986, Dr. Scholl retired from the Waterloo Community School District after 36 years of teaching service. 

Dr. Scholl spent his entire career doing something he believed in—educating others. Inspired by an article he read in Drake Blue Magazine discussing the importance and need for a strong endowment, Dr. Scholl has included a provision in his Will designating a portion of his estate towards a scholarship named in his honor—the Dr. Merlin L. Scholl Endowed Scholarship. His primary reason for this bequest was to prepare more teachers which will, in turn, help more students. Merlin strongly believes that teachers can be a catalyst for changing lives which can have a ripple effect on others. 

When asked why he supports scholarships, Dr. Scholl responded, "Education is expensive. Student's today have enough problems to worry about. Incurring debt for their education shouldn't be one of them. I hope I can alleviate some of this worry and make a college education possible for students." 

Approximately 98% of the students who enroll at Drake directly from high school receive some form of financial aid. On average, students leave Drake with debt totaling more than $30,000. Thanks to Dr. Merlin Scholl, generations of young teachers will acquire the same life-changing Drake education he acquired years ago, with less financial burden and the ability to focus on their dreams to educate others.


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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.

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