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Advancement: Your Connection to Union

Giving Back to Show Their Commitment

Mardian and Joan Peters BlairMardian '54 and Joan Peters '54 Blair treat giving to nonprofits a lot like investing. They do their research and look for organizations with a good track record and consistent results. For them, Union College tops the list. "We believe in Union College," said Mardian. "I would put my money at Union College without question."

Joan and Mardian feel a warm bond with Union College and have invested in its mission with their time and resources for several decades now. Their feelings of affection toward Union, and each other, began in the years they spent as students on campus. It was in the shadow of the old clock tower where the couple fell in love and they have been married now for 62 years. "We have very good memories of our student experience," remembered Mardian, "it was all positive, nothing negative."

Their devotion to each other was not the only lifelong relationship that was bolstered while at Union; they also solidified their own relationships with Jesus Christ. "When we were students we had worship every morning and evening, and these worships, along with the chapels, Friday evening vespers, the fall and spring weeks of prayer and Sabbath services were life changing," Mardian recalled.

For nearly 20 years Mardian has served on Union College's Board of Trustees, where his confidence in the college has grown very strong. "I have developed a great respect for the people leading Union College," Mardian said. He has worked closely with several of Union's presidents, vice presidents, faculty and staff members; and bears witness that God has brought to the college the right people at the right time. He is very supportive with the direction in which Union is going.

Mardian believes that colleges as small as Union will always be at risk unless they offer academic programs that prepare young people for high demand jobs such as Union's business offerings, PA , nursing, and international rescue and relief programs. And, Union is actively developing other new programs including occupational therapy assistant. "I feel very encouraged regarding Union's future," stated Mardian.

Within the Seventh-day Adventist Church there are many organizations Mardian and Joan support. When it comes time to decide which organizations they will support to a greater extent they look to see what fruit the organizations are producing. "If you are investing money for profit, you look for organizations that have done well for quite awhile," Mardian explains. "Union has a track record of successfully educating our youth for 125 years and has produced many leaders for the Seventh-day Adventist church. It instills a sense of service and spirituality into our young people."

Mardian and Joan have given financial support annually to Union College for many years, and several years ago they also decided to include Union as a beneficiary of their estate. Furthermore, the couple knew Union offers charitable gift annuities that provides a couple, or an individual, a lifetime of payments (that may be partially tax free) and a charitable income tax deduction. Recently they contacted Scot Coppock, Union College's Director of Leadership Giving, to learn how they can establish a charitable gift annuity at Union College and maximize its benefits. After discussing it over with Scot the Blairs understood their options, and how a charitable gift annuity would benefit them, so they decided to establish one in Joan's name. "By setting up the charitable gift annuity we have already given some of our estate gift and are now enjoying the steady payments," reported Joan, who is very enthusiastic in her support.

"You don't know what the condition of the world will be five years from now or even tomorrow," said Mardian. But he has faith in how Union College will manage his charitable gift annuity. "Without question, I believe the college will be a good steward of the money." Easing his mind even further is the fact that Union College invests 100 percent of all charitable gift annuities in a reserve fund, which ensures the annuitants will receive their lifetime of payments.

A lot has changed at Union College since Mardian and Joan walked the halls of the original College Building more than 60 years ago. "The world has changed, which has caused the college to change too," explained Mardian. "But the students are still well prepared academically and Union's spiritual experience stands out among Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities."

If you would like information on how you can establish a charitable gift annuity at Union College please contact Scot Coppock, Director of Leadership Giving, at 402-486-2600, Ext. 2200 or ken.farrow@ucollege.edu. Scot welcomes the opportunity to discuss ways you too can invest in the mission of Union College.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Union College 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Union College, a certified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation registered in the State of Nebraska, [written amount or percentage of the etate 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 Union College 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 Union College 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 Union College 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 Union College where you agree to make a gift to Union College 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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