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Alums Make a Gift to Support Their Southeast Family


Patrick and Janet Ruopp

Patrick and Janet Ruopp believe in the value of giving back based on all they have received. And Southeast Missouri State University will always hold a special place in their hearts because of the strong family ties of those who have attended the University.

"My mother lived locally, but my father was from Wenatchee, Wash. In the summer of 1942, he was among a group of pre-medical and pre-dental students in the Navy V-12 program in Washington who were looking for a university that had a great science department. He ended up at Southeast, and if it hadn't have been for that move, I wouldn't be here," Jan explains.

Jan and both of her sisters followed in their parents' footsteps and attended Southeast. Both graduated from Southeast's College of Science and Mathematics in the 1970s and now have a dental practice in Cape Girardeau.

"My brother-in-law is also a Southeast grad," Jan says. "Pat's brother and two nieces are also graduates. Currently both of our children attend Southeast." Their daughter, Alyssa, is a sophomore and their son, Brenton, is a junior. Both students are pre-dental majors. When Alyssa and Brenton graduate, the Ruopps will have 12 Southeast alumni in their family.

The strong sense of family that Southeast holds for Pat and Jan is evident in their continued support of the University. Both are charter members of the Horizon Club, the Southeast Missouri University Foundation's planned giving society. Planned giving allows supporters to make a much larger difference for Southeast students than may seem possible. Both Pat and Jan have designated the University in their individual trusts and have chosen to designate their gifts to the departments of biology and chemistry.

"We always intended to give back to the University for all that it brought us," Jan says. "We share so many fond memories of the professors and students, and the education we received at Southeast was immeasurable. We certainly want to ensure this continues for future students."

To learn more about how you can support Southeast students through a gift in your estate plans, please contact Trudy G. Lee, Ed.D. at 573.651.5935 or 888.812.3769 or

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the Southeast Missouri University 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Southeast Missouri University Foundation, Cape Girardeau, Missouri, 63701, [the sum of _____] or [_____% of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, both real and personal] for its charitable purposes in support of Southeast Missouri State University [for its unrestricted use] or [to establish the _____________ Fund]."

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 Southeast 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 Southeast 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 Southeast 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 Southeast where you agree to make a gift to Southeast 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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