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Invested in Art

 Robert “Bob” Blalock

The development and notoriety of the FSU/John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art are largely attributed to the generous support of its devoted constituents. Two such donors, Robert "Bob" Blalock, a Bradenton attorney and former trustee of the Museum, and his wife, Marlene (an FSU attendee), have long been passionate about the importance of the Museum and played a key role in making Ringling a part of Florida State University. Since the Florida Legislature transferred Ringling to Florida State University in 2000, the Museum has become a public resource for the appreciation, education and history of art. The Museum further enhanced the University's already distinguished art program and helped to increase the Museum's capacity for educational outreach initiatives.

The success story of the relationship between the two organizations begins with the enthusiasm of dedicated donors and advocates, such as Bob and Marlene. "A museum, if successful, must be above all an educational institution," Bob says. Prior to its affiliation with Florida State, the Ringling Museum received little private support, primarily because it was a state institution and individuals felt that any support should come from the state. Bob helped initiate the merger and played a key role in linking the two organizations in 2000.

Bob and Marlene further demonstrated their support of Ringling by establishing a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) with the FSU Foundation. The principal in their trust continues to grow because they add to their CRUT on a regular basis, and the proceeds from the trust will directly benefit the FSU/John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. In addition, Bob uses his successful law practice to educate clients about the benefits of including charitable organizations like Ringling and FSU in their deferred gifts and estate plans.

The FSU Foundation is extremely grateful to have donors such as Bob and Marlene Blalock and appreciates Bob's efforts to educate others about the benefits of establishing deferred gifts for Florida State University. The Blalocks' generous support— as well as the support of donors like them—ensures a successful future for the FSU/John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.


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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