It Doesn't Matter How You Give…
Robert Meyer's memories of Southeast Missouri State University's campus began long before he walked across it to get to classes. He remembers riding his bike over the hills underneath the trees prior to college, as he grew up just a block from campus. His father, August R. "Gus" Meyer, started his career at Southeast in 1960 and retired in 1986.
"I have a long history with Southeast," Robert says. "I went to elementary school on campus. Some of my best friends, I met there."
Long after elementary school, Robert returned to Southeast and received a Bachelor of Science in business administration in 1974. While there, he found something else.
"I met my wife, Becky, at Southeast. We met in American history class. We both lived in Towers."
After marriage and graduation, his history with Southeast took a hiatus as the Meyers focused on work and family.
"Our daughter, Katie, graduated from Southeast and I became reenergized in the last 10 years or so," Robert says. "I wanted to support the University, but at the time I couldn't contribute significantly financially, so I gave my time."
There Isn't Just One Way to Contribute
Robert is a big believer that the University and its students can benefit by whatever alumni have to offer—gifts, time, ideas. The support is what's imperative. He became involved in the Alumni Association, the St. Louis Advisory Council and the board of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.
"I don't think we stress to alumni how many different ways there are to contribute," he says. "I'm a good example. I wasn't able to make a large financial investment initially, but I've come to understand that anything can be very impactful—$20 a month helps, a $500 annual scholarship means everything to a student who needs it."
Robert hopes new graduates will get involved, though he admits giving of time is difficult, too.
"Time and service are things we can all do, but those things aren't easy either. We all complain about not having enough time, but when I have given my time, I've reconnected with people I knew, I've met new Southeast alumni and staff, I've created another circle of friends and business contacts, and that's a great payback for the time I invested," he says.
Have You Considered This Easy Way to Donate?
After investing his time and financial gifts in the form of a scholarship in his father's name, Robert looked for other methods to support the University.
"I had a conversation with Trudy Lee at the Foundation," he says. "I wanted to make a very impactful financial contribution. I couldn't make a significant lump sum contribution then, but I knew at some point I could."
The solution Robert and Trudy came to was to take advantage of the benefits of a life insurance policy. Trudy says there are various techniques offering a range of tax benefits and flexibility while increasing philanthropic support. Three common ways to utilize life insurance are:
1. changing the beneficiary designation;
2. transferring ownership of a paid-up life insurance policy; or
3. establishing a new policy with a charity as owner and beneficiary.
"Robert established a new life insurance policy to support Southeast," Trudy says. "The Southeast Missouri University Foundation is the owner and beneficiary of the policy, so Robert receives a tax deduction for the premiums he pays on the policy and Southeast will receive the proceeds in the future."
"It was so easy," Robert says. "It was as simple as putting my agent in touch with Trudy. Everything was straightforward. The only downside is I won't be here to see it, but knowing it will be a significant contribution that will benefit the University is a great thing."
How Can You Help?
Contact Trudy G. Lee, Ed.D. at 573.651.5935 or 888.812.3769 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your options.