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Planning Ahead Leaves Behind a Wonderful Legacy

Two women holding a plaque

To honor the generosity of the late Dewain Brucker, Agriculture Department Chair Julie Weathers (right) presented his mother, Clara, with a plaque recognizing his significant gift during Southeast's Annual Agriculture Honors Banquet.

Dewain Brucker loved all things agriculture, so much so that he willed his entire estate to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation so Southeast agriculture students can pursue the same career path.

Although Dewain did not attend Southeast, choosing instead to work with his father on their family farm in Chaffee, Missouri, he understood the value of education. His mother, Clara Brucker, had once suggested that he consider leaving the farm to the University to provide scholarships for future students. Dewain took her advice.

In August of 2018, Dewain passed away and Southeast was notified of his generous gift. After completion of the trust administration, the Dewain Brucker Scholarship Fund was established in the spring of 2019 to fund scholarships for Southeast agriculture students for many years to come.

The news of this endowed scholarship was recently shared with the faculty, staff and students in the Agriculture Department during Southeast's Annual Agriculture Honors Banquet. Department Chair Julie Weathers honored Dewain's generosity by presenting Clara with a plaque recognizing her son's significant gift. Dewain's family and friends joined the Southeast family in honoring Dewain's foresight and generosity.

"Dewain loved agriculture and animals, and he left a wonderful legacy to our department," Dr. Weathers says. "Through his generosity, generations of students will find the financial support they need to pursue their higher education goals as they prepare to launch successful careers in agriculture. On behalf of the department, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for this extraordinary gift. To commemorate this extraordinary gift, Dewain's photo of his farm will hang in our department's office."

The Dewain Brucker Scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing a degree in a field related to the production, preservation and management of farmland and animal husbandry. First preference will be given to students from Scott County and the Southeast Missouri region. Foresight and planning allowed Dewain to have the peace of mind that his hard work in caring for the land and livestock would continue to benefit the agricultural community through education. Thanks to his generosity, future generations of students at Southeast Missouri State will gain knowledge, acquire experience and engage in research so that they can follow in his footsteps.

If you're interested in leaving a legacy of giving at SEMO, contact Trudy G. Lee, Ed.D. at 573.651.5935 or 888.812.3769 or

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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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