The Driving Force of Education

Gerry Montgomery's gift to Iowa State supports a cause it believes in and also provides an income stream for his family.

Gerry Montgomery's gift to Iowa State supports a cause it believes in and also provides an income stream for his family.

Education has always been at the forefront of what drives Gerry Montgomery. Always willing to tackle the next challenge, he believes in equipping others to do the same.

Montgomery transferred to Iowa State University — known then as Iowa State College — in 1952. With 10 quarters of coursework to complete in nine, he set out to finish as many courses as he could in his set time frame.

"At times I had 24 credit hours and as many as seven three-hour labs at once. With that kind of schedule, Saturday morning classes were a must!" he said. "But as I always say, hard work never hurt anyone." In fact, Montgomery credits his rigorous schedule for instilling a lifelong drive to learn.

Soon after entering the workforce, Montgomery discovered the most valuable thing he had learned while at Iowa State. "Studying engineering was a terrific tool for teaching me how to think," he said. "The kind of work I did in chemical engineering gave me sound skills in analysis and taught me how to be both thorough and rigorous."

Early on in his career at J.C. Penney, he was assigned to work with electronic data processing machines. "We worked with an IBM 705, which had no operating system, no compiler, no disc, no magnetic tape, and a whopping 40,000 bytes of memory. It was a challenge to figure out and work with, but it was the most fun I've ever had."

Montgomery continued to build a successful career as a chemical engineer. Looking back, he knows that the time he spent vigorously learning valuable skills at Iowa State gave him the building blocks that got him where he is today.

"The scholarships I received at Iowa State made me realize that this kind of support isn't only a financial incentive, but it's also an encouragement," he said.

Scholarship support not only allowed Montgomery to transfer to Iowa State, but it also gave him the resources he needed in order to graduate on time — something he wants to make sure to provide for today's students.

Montgomery and his wife, Barbara, have always been active philanthropists in their community. "For as long as I can remember, my wife and I have tithed to our church — even if we may have been a little short of that in the early years! To us, it simply means we are thankful for what we have and should give back accordingly," said Montgomery. Therefore, supporting Iowa State was a natural step for the couple.

The Montgomerys have supported many areas at the university, including a handful of scholarship funds, but they wanted to become even more personalized with their giving. They did their research and established their own scholarship fund, supported largely by a charitable remainder trust.

"I wanted to do what I could to see more women in engineering. There were no women in chemical engineering in my graduating class, and I always thought they should be there," said Montgomery. "Plus, this gift is structured in such a way that my wife and children will still be supported after I'm gone."

For this instance, creating a charitable remainder trust was the best vehicle to support his passion and secure his family's future. "Basically it's like everything else one would do financially," said Montgomery.

"Do the homework and make sure you understand your options."

Make a Lasting Impact

To learn more about gift options that fit your financial and charitable goals, we encourage you to visit our website and contact the office of gift planning and 800.621.8515 or giftplanning@foundation.iastate.edu for more details.

“I thought about what meant the most to me – outside of my family – and it was obvious that I would give to Iowa State. So I called the office of gift planning and they helped me plan the best course of action.”

- Margaret "Margi" Donaldson

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Iowa State 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 Iowa State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Ames, Iowa, 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State 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 Iowa State where you agree to make a gift to Iowa State 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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