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Couple's Bequest Will Make a World of Difference at UB


George and Roberta Stevens help students see the world through a bequest to UB.

Roberta, MLS '74, BA '70, and George Stevens have two reasons for giving to the University at Buffalo: To help students experience international travel and to help future ophthalmology patients also be able to see the world.

The couple recently made a $2 million bequest commitment, also known as a gift in your will or trust, to UB. Once realized, half of the bequest will go toward vision research – particularly studies of macular degeneration, which is prevalent in Roberta's family – in the Department of Ophthalmology.

The other half will be designated to support study abroad for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.

'Understanding Our Place in the World'
Travel has competed in the past with the couple's busy schedules. George works for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Roberta, a former president of the American Library Association, recently retired as an outreach officer at the Library of Congress. But they found time to visit many nations around the globe and can attest to the importance of seeing the world.

"Experiencing other countries firsthand," Roberta says, "is the most direct route to fully understanding our place in the world. It allows us to get to know the business, culture, intellectual dynamics and physical surroundings of these countries. To be competitive, we cannot rest on our laurels. We have to understand how we compete with other nations, and to do that, we have to know how they function."

For that reason, she adds, the couple is giving to UB students, who especially need to experience actual – not virtual – travel.

"This gift is aimed at ensuring UB students will become more aware of the world around us and not just through social media, that they can go and see how nations function," she says. "We hope the fund this gift establishes will allow students to broaden their educational experiences and enrich their career opportunities through study outside of the United States."

A Disease That Hits Close to Home
Giving to the ophthalmology department also has special meaning for Roberta, who witnessed family members struggling with hereditary retinal and macular degeneration. She, along with George, hope to "lessen the likelihood of others experiencing its effects."

"My father and all of his siblings have suffered from it. So I've been very aware of the research in that area because it affects such a large number of individuals in their later years. We have more people living to advanced age and it has become a concern for more people," Roberta says. "The goal of this gift will be to establish a fund that supports vision research leading to treatments that reduce or eliminate these diseases."

Remembering us in your will is an easy way to make a difference. Simply contact Ms. Wendy M. Irving today at (716) 881-7484 or to learn more.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University at Buffalo 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, devise, and bequeath to the University at Buffalo Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit education corporation, headquartered in Buffalo, New York, the (sum of $_____) or (_____% of my estate) or (the property described herein) or (the remainder of my estate) to benefit the University at Buffalo."

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 University at Buffalo 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 University at Buffalo 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 University at Buffalo 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 University at Buffalo where you agree to make a gift to the University at Buffalo 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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