Donor Makes it Possible for Young Women to Follow Their Dreams

Kay RavenelBy Mike Sauer

Many years ago in the small town of Ft. Smith, a young girl gazed into the waning light of an Arkansas summer sunset and dreamed of the adventures that waited for her beyond the distant horizon.

Now 88 years old, Kay Ravenel smiles at the memory, knowing that the young girl would become a successful businesswoman who followed her dreams to the far reaches of the globe.

"One of my major goals early in life was to travel," recalls Ravenel, now a resident of Palm Desert, Calif. "There aren't many experiences more rewarding than getting out there and seeing the world."

In addition to providing her a treasure chest full of indelible memories, Ravenel's travels and life experience have shown her just how invaluable a quality education can be. As a result, she has recently worked in concert with the USD Office of Planned Giving to establish the Kay Ravenel Endowed Scholarship with a combination of cash and two charitable gift annuities. The Ravenel endowment offers financial assistance each year to a USD female undergraduate student.

"Education is such an important tool for personal success," she says. "There is no substitute for having the learning experience to succeed in the world." A gift annuity is a contract under which the university, in return for a donation of cash, marketable securities or other assets, agrees to pay a fixed amount of income to an individual for their lifetime. For Ravenel, it was an easy decision to make.

"I attended a seminar that USD put on regarding the importance and value of gift annuities, and I really thought it would be a wonderful way to contribute to the university," she says.

She also credits her involvement with USD's planned giving program to some very emotional thank-you letters she read while serving as the executor of her late brother Gaston Johnston's estate.

"I received a number of letters from students who had written thank-you letters to my brother for the scholarship he had created at the University of Arkansas," she explains. "They were very moving, and it was wonderful to see what an impact the scholarship had made in their lives. It's my hope that students who receives this scholarship will feel the same way."

Ravenel remains an advocate of educational programs for women across the United States, including a stint as secretary of the Hawaii-Pacific branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She is also acutely aware of the trials and tribulations female students face when attempting to make the transition from college to the workplace.

After earning her bachelor's degree in business from Arizona State University, Ravenel was eager to ascend the corporate ladder by developing her skills as a salesperson, but the scales of gender equality were notably askew in her early days as a working professional.

"I really wanted to be in sales, but at the time, they didn't want women in sales, they wanted us in the office. It was hard to watch the men go out and make better money at a job that I was very good at, but that was just the way things were at the time."

Undaunted by the experience, Ravenel went on to cultivate successful careers in both sales and real estate, and did so by adhering to a simple philosophy: follow your dreams.

"If I had any advice for the recipient of this scholarship, it would be to set (her) goals, and stick to them. That's been the formula for success in my life."

Thanks to the vision and generosity of Kay Ravenel, other young women will be able to follow their dreams, wherever they may lead.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of San Diego 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 the University of San Diego, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California, 92110-2492, 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 USD 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 USD 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 USD 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 USD where you agree to make a gift to USD 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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