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Giving Back: Technology Icon Helps Students Get a "Jump Start" on Life

Roger and Mary Roberts

Roger and Mary Roberts

When Roger Roberts (M.S. '69) began thinking about his legacy, it didn't take long for him to decide that Florida State would be included in his plans.

Roger, a former Chairman and CEO at software giant Citrix Systems, grew up in a rural and impoverished area with little economic opportunity. He viewed education as his ticket to a better life.

"I realized early on that I would have to acquire and develop marketable skills if I wanted to participate in the broader and more robust community, and that education could provide that edge," he says.

In addition to holding degrees in computer science and business, Roger earned a Master of Science in Mathematics from Florida State and went on to apply his skills in successful stints as an executive at Citrix and at Texas Instruments. He now serves as President of RhoSquared, a management and technology consulting firm based in south Florida.

"I have always felt that I should contribute back to the institutions that opened so many doors for me, and I'm very fortunate to be in a position to make good on that commitment," he says.

"I hope that my contributions to the University will help attract top students from around the world and, most importantly, ensure that a deserving student doesn't have to forgo an education because they do not have access to the necessary financial resources."

A Gift That Gives Back In choosing the right type of gift to fulfill their philanthropic wishes, Roger and his wife, Mary, opted to fund a deferred charitable gift annuity, a simple contract that provides dependable fixed income for the couple for the rest of their lives, with the balance of the annuity benefiting Florida State.

"I wanted a gift vehicle that, after a period of time, would provide an income stream for me and, after my lifetime, for Mary," Roger says. "At the same time, this vehicle has the potential to grow in value and thereby leave a substantial portion to the University after both of our lifetimes. The deferred annuity offers all of these benefits and more."

The flexible deferment option offers Roger and Mary the freedom to choose when their income starts, potentially providing them with a higher annuity payout rate—an added advantage for donors who do not have an immediate income need.

"It is truly a rewarding experience to be able to give back," Roger says. "My contributions will be used to increase funding for undergraduate assistance in the College of Arts and Sciences. The thought of helping someone else get a jump start on life by having a great education gives me and my family a great deal of comfort.

"I encourage anyone considering a gift to Florida State to use the resources at the Office of Gift Planning to help you work through the various gift options and find the one that is right for you."


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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