With Gratitude


When Patricia Center Radcliffe was born, her parents knew they would like their daughter to attend SMU. In fact, when she was only 11 days old, Patricia's father took out an insurance policy that would expire on her 18th birthday. The intent was to use the money to send Patricia to SMU, a true reflection of Douglas Center's values and belief in the importance of education.

As her parents had desired, Patricia enrolled at SMU and eventually received a degree from Meadows School of the Arts in 1974. Following graduation, Patricia began a successful career as a television producer. What Patricia had not realized was the time commitment and sacrifices that would be necessary to continue in that industry.

As she observed her parents, Ferne and Douglas Center, traveling the world, living full and exciting lives, Patricia reassessed her career plan. She returned to college, this time to Florida State University, to study psychology. Patricia now has a successful private psychology practice in Colorado, where she lives with her husband, Tom.
Ferne and Douglas were inspired by Patricia's career choices and were grateful to SMU for its role in Patricia's success. In 2005, they created a Charitable Gift Annuity at SMU. They received a charitable income deduction and annual annuity payments for their lifetimes. Above all, they were honored to establish an endowment that would be funded by the remainder of their annuity upon their deaths. With Patricia's guidance, the Centers established the Douglas D. and Ferne Center Family Scholarship Endowment.

Following long, happy, and successful lives, both Ferne and Douglas died in 2008. Because of their gift, however, the impact of this family at SMU remains. The balance of their annuity has been transferred to their endowment where it will provide scholarships to students in Meadows School of the Arts and in the Psychology Department in perpetuity.

The Center's appreciation for their daughter's SMU education is reciprocated by SMU's deep gratitude to them for their generous gift.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Southern Methodist 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 Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Dallas, TX, 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 SMU 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 SMU 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 SMU 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 SMU where you agree to make a gift to SMU 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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