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Life Stories

How three donors planned scholarships that will change the future for others

Sergio Garcia's parents never went to college, but they believed strongly in the value of education and pushed him and his five siblings to excel. As a teenager growing up in South Central Los Angeles, he set his sights on Stanford when a recruiter from the university visited his inner-city high school. His hard work gained him an offer of admission, and a scholarship made it possible for him to accept.

At Stanford, Sergio was already thinking about how the university could change the lives of other young people. He joined a student-led group focused on developing science and math curricula for high school students in East Palo Alto.

Sergio Garcia"I remember the sheer excitement whenever we would bring the kids to Stanford," he says. "For many of them, it was the first time they'd ever set foot on campus, even though it's just a couple of miles from their homes. That stuck with me—the power of exposure, the power of providing access to an educational opportunity."

Nearly three decades later, Sergio is senior vice president and general counsel at Zeltiq Aesthetics, a medical technology company in Northern California. A volunteer with several education nonprofits, he serves on the board at the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which connects young Latinos with leadership and career opportunities.

When he and his wife, Amelia, were doing their estate planning, they saw a chance to do for others what Stanford had done for him. In addition to taking care of their three grown children, the couple included Stanford as a beneficiary of their living trust, designating the eventual proceeds to establish an undergraduate scholarship fund that will support students well into the future.

Sustaining a commitment to affordability

Surprisingly few private American universities can afford to combine need-blind admission—where students are selected regardless of their ability to pay—with a pledge to meet their full demonstrated need. Endowed scholarship funds are critical to upholding the life-changing promise Stanford has made.

Scholarships can change the donors' lives as well. In addition to creating an endowed scholarship fund with an outright gift or an estate gift, undergraduate scholarships can also be designated as the ultimate purpose for a "life income gift." A life income gift involves making a gift to a trust or other arrangement that provides annual income to you or another beneficiary for life or a term of years, before the remainder is directed to Stanford.

In addition to creating a stream of income and making a charitable gift to Stanford, there are some tax benefits available when setting up a life income gift. Depending on the amount of your gift, you may be able to endow a new undergraduate scholarship fund or add to an existing fund.

From his senior residence overlooking the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, Nelson Chu could see the potential benefits of planned giving—including benefits for his own family. Chu wanted to set up trusts that would benefit family members in the future, rather than providing for a lump sum inheritance.

By creating charitable remainder unitrusts through Stanford—which will deliver quarterly payments to him and other family members—he was also able to honor his parents and their commitment to education by establishing an undergraduate scholarship fund in their memory.                              

Nelson Chu"Philanthropy was always in my father's heart," Nelson says. In addition to raising four children of their own, Nelson's parents supported their orphaned niece and two nephews, putting them through college and helping them throughout their lives.

With his gift to Stanford, Nelson has designated his gift to endow the Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Chu Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. Because the amount of his gift will leave a remainder that currently qualifies for matching funds from the university, Stanford has already established the scholarship with the matching funds and was able to begin supporting a student last fall.

Meanwhile, his unitrusts provide income to Nelson for life—and he is taking care of family members by providing them with future income as well.

After a 30-year career at Honeywell, Nelson retired as vice president–international. During his tenure he served as chairman and CEO of a wholly owned subsidiary responsible for the development and management of its Asia/Pacific division, headquartered in Tokyo.

He chose to establish his unitrusts through Stanford because he appreciated the options and trusted its investment management expertise. "Stanford offered the most flexibility," he says, "and has a strong record of managing its endowment."

A family tradition of giving

Sometimes the end of one life sets in motion a change in others. In 1954, when Judith Goodheart passed away, her family created a Stanford scholarship in her memory. Her sister, Donna Goodheart Krupp, '42, says the family taught her to give back. Later, they established a scholarship in Donna's honor as well, which has continued to grow over the years with gifts from Donna and her husband, Marc, '34, MD '39, who passed away in 2014.

Mark and Donna Krupp with Elena ShermanDonna and Marc both attended Stanford, and both worked for the university at different times. Donna worked in the Department of Drama, establishing Stanford’s first box office, and later served as secretary to the director of the Hoover Library. Marc served on the faculty at Stanford School of Medicine and volunteered extensively for the university, earning Stanford Associates' Gold Spike Award in 1976, the School of Medicine's Albion Walter Hewlett Award in 1987 (which honors an exceptional physician with ties to Stanford), and the J.E. Wallace Sterling "Muleshoe" Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine in 1991.

In 2005, the couple established the first of several charitable gift annuities at Stanford. With a charitable gift annuity, Stanford pays one or two beneficiaries a fixed amount each year for life in exchange for a gift to the university. Two of their gift annuities will add to the Donna Goodheart Krupp Scholarship Fund. Donna has also planned to bequeath a portion of her estate to the fund.

So far dozens of undergraduate students have benefited from the funds honoring Donna and her sister, some for multiple years. Donna says meeting the recipients over the years has been a true joy, and that she feels greatly indebted to the university for the experiences and education she received.

"Stanford taught me to use my mind," she says. "For that, you have to give back."

You can provide financial aid for generations of students with a bequest or a life income gift. Certain scholarship gifts may qualify for matching funds. Contact Stanford's Office of Planned Giving for help designing a gift to best meet your charitable objectives, as well as your financial and tax goals.

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