Rich and Carm Greenlee


Like many couples who met at Iowa State, Rich and Carm Greenlee have great memories of their college days. They shared a group of close-knit friends, and are still in touch with many of them.

Carm, a Minnesota native, was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority and graduated in child development in 1965. Rich, a 1966 graduate in construction engineering, was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

Rich grew up in Des Moines and came to Iowa State because "that's where you go to be an engineer." He started in the architectural engineering program, but was intrigued by Professor Tom Jellinger's teachings, which focused on construction engineering and were new to Iowa State at the time.

After jobs in Texas, Iowa and Minnesota, both realized that they "couldn't just work for someone" and their entrepreneurial sprits took over. Rich opened his own engineering consulting firm, and Carm created a business partnership as a manufacturer's representative with a fellow Iowa State alumna and friend.

Rich has since retired, but continues to consult with his most recent company, Engineering Partners, and Carm now works part-time as a buyer for a small gift shop.

The Greenlees have three children and nine grandchildren. All live nearby in the Twin Cities. Their youngest son, Greg, followed in his parents' footsteps at Iowa State, earning a degree in civil engineering. He is now a principal at his dad's company, Engineering Partners.

In 2008, the construction engineering program began planning for its 50th anniversary. Part of the celebration included a fundraising effort to create and name a laboratory in honor of Rich's old professor, Tom Jellinger. Rich wanted to honor the man who helped define his career path, and the Greenlees made a pledge to support the Tom and Ro Jellinger Laboratory in Town Hall.

After talking with representatives from the ISU Foundation, the couple "figured out a way we could do something meaningful." They decided to create the Greenlee Lectureship in Construction Engineering. They wanted to support something that would benefit students, but weren't interested in creating a scholarship. They liked the idea of an annual lecture series to bring well-known speakers to campus and to help bring prestige to Iowa State's construction engineering program.

The Greenlees decided to establish a charitable gift annuity to fund their lecture series. With this type of gift, they qualify for an income tax deduction for part of their initial investment, and also receive fixed income from the annuity for both of their lives. The proceeds from the charitable gift annuity will one day create an endowed fund for the Greenlee Lectureship, ensuring that the lecture continues for many years to come.

In addition to their annuity, Rich and Carm decided to make an annual cash gift right away, so that the lecture could get started more quickly. The first lecture will likely happen next spring, to coincide with the annual banquet in construction engineering.

Rich and Carm share a passion for Iowa State, and are eager to get things moving with their lecture. "We had a very good education at Iowa State," Carm said. "It was time for us to give back."

“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

Back to Top

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address