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Friends Discover They Have Common Ground Through Giving

Donor Photo

James Brewer and Gail Sammons

Cast a pebble in a pond and ripples roll across the surface touching everything. So it is with the estate gifts of two good friends, UNLV Professor Gail Sammons and James Brewer. Brewer is the husband of another faculty member, Dr. Pearl Brewer, professor and director of graduate studies at the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.

Dr. Sammons, now an associate professor at the College of Hotel Administration, and the Brewers met at Penn State, where Dr. Pearl Brewer served on the faculty and was Dr. Sammon's mentor during her doctoral studies. Drawn by the reputation of the Harrah Hotel College, the two professors moved to UNLV "while I tagged along," says Jim Brewer.

Over dinner one night with the Brewers, Dr. Sammons described her plans to make an estate gift to the hotel college. She said she wanted to give back to the institution where, in 1987, she earned her master's degree in hotel management.

At that point, Jim said he, too, had made a provision for the hotel college in his will. That provision was unknown to UNLV, however. Dr. Sammons directed him to Judy Nagai, director of external relations at the college, who helped document the gift to ensure that his intentions would be realized.

With Nagai's assistance, Dr. Sammons established the Gail Sammons Professional Development Fund to provide stipends for graduate students and faculty members, enabling them to attend professional conferences and pursue research opportunities. "When you support faculty and teaching, it allows students to be better prepared and to go out and make their mark in the world," she explains. "The best taught, best prepared students benefit their employers and make a concrete contribution to their community."

In addition to her bequest gift, Dr. Sammons, who received support when she was a student, began making regular contributions to advance the establishment of her fund. "I have always been well aware of supporting one's alma mater. As an undergraduate, I worked with alumni and saw them give back. It made an impression on me," she says.

Brewer's gift may be used at the discretion of the college. "I want the dean to have the freedom to choose the area of greatest need," he says. "With state budget cuts, there is a great need to be addressed."

Now retired, Jim Brewer is a former mathematician with a master's degree focusing on abstract algebra. He jokes, "I couldn't make a living at that, and that's when I changed gears to gear boxes." He traveled across the country selling gear parts. "I just know that if I didn't make this gift, the ability of the university to serve the community would be greatly diminished," he adds.

The friends' gifts will benefit not only initial recipients— students and researchers at Harrah's College of Hotel Administration—but, through the accomplishments of these scholars, they will reach across the community and improve its economic and social well-being.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the UNLV Foundation 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 UNLV Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4505 S. Maryland Parkway/Box 451006, Las Vegas, NV 89154-1006 , 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 UNLV 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 UNLV 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 UNLV 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 UNLV where you agree to make a gift to UNLV 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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