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Building the Future of Engineering

Colleen Stewart

Colleen Stewart has always had strong ties to engineering. Her family has an extensive number of engineering degrees, although they're not all from Florida State University.

"My husband was an electrical engineer. My son received a degree in petroleum engineering. I received a master's degree in electrical engineering. One of my daughters received a degree in electrical engineering, and two of my granddaughters received degrees in civil engineering," she says.

Always avid supporters of student-athletes through Seminole Boosters, she and her late husband, Donald, started down the path toward ultimately making a lasting impact on the lives of students enrolled in the Florida State University College of Engineering.

"Several years ago, my husband saw an article in an FSU publication describing the charitable gift annuity," Colleen says. "When I retired and received my distributions from my company stock purchase, my husband suggested investigating the annuity with FSU."

After contacting the Office of Planned Giving, the Stewarts were provided illustrations showcasing how the annuity works. Once the couple realized that the annuity would provide fixed income and would also allow the Stewarts to lessen the impact of the capital gains taxes on the stock, the decision was clear:

"This seemed a good use for the stock since I would be contributing to FSU and also receiving an income for my lifetime," says the mother of 1993 College of Engineering graduate Kristina Stewart.

Believing in the Value of Education

"My father believed strongly in the importance of education. While he was president of an international union, he started a scholarship fund for children of members of his union," Colleen says.

"Our entire family has been Florida State fans for more than 25 years," she says. "For many reasons, Florida State is the obvious choice as one of the universities for my financial support." In addition to the charitable gift annuity that the Stewarts established in 2009, Colleen decided to fund an additional annuity in 2011.

By funding both annuities through the FSU Foundation, Colleen made wonderful contributions to Florida State University and received sizeable charitable income tax deductions in the years of both gifts. She can rest assured that she will receive fixed income for her life and that students in the College of Engineering will ultimately benefit from her generosity.

"A charitable gift annuity is a logical way to give to FSU and to receive an income at the same time," Colleen says. "Although the rate of return may be smaller than with some other types of investment, the knowledge that the university has the use of the gift more than makes up the difference."


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Florida State 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 Florida State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Tallahassee, Florida, 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation 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 the FSU Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the FSU Foundation 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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