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Belief in the Value of Higher Education Leads to Gift

The Rev. J. Friedel

The Rev. J. Friedel

The Rev. J. Friedel believes in the value of higher education and the value of Southeast Missouri State University.

"I believe that the church and higher education are a fertile meeting ground for discussing the big issues in life," Friedel says, recognizing that this as a time in many students' lives in which they are contemplating who they are, what they want to be, what they want to do and where they want to be.

"I love when students engage in those issues," he says.

Friedel served as director of Southeast's Catholic Campus Ministry from 1993 to 2006. He also taught in the Department of Political Science, Philosophy and Religion for nine years. Students and colleagues developed a scholarship in his name in 2006 to honor his devotion to Southeast and his investment in seeing students succeed.

"It's a phenomenal place," says Friedel, who is extremely proud of the open and engaging atmosphere Southeast provides for faculty and students to discuss controversial issues and debate philosophical differences. "We could do all those things because we knew each other, we respected each other."

For Friedel, the purpose of higher education is discussion and personal growth. His time at Southeast exemplified this commitment.

"I am very proud of that," he says. "We were a model for how to engage in the conversation. I truly believe that SEMO is a place where all those ideas can come together, even if we disagree, even if we come up with different solutions."

One of his favorite moments was walking to class with a former student who asked him what his class discussion was to be that day. Friedel says he appreciated the student's acceptance of different ideas and cultures on the campus when Friedel told him Buddhism would be the topic that day.

"I thought this is how it should be," he says. "I knew enough to give my students an introduction and a fair hearing about it. I wanted to give my students the ability to come out of class with a better understanding. The world needs some more of that."

Friedel recently included a bequest to Southeast through his estate plan to continue benefiting his scholarship and to show his love for the students.

"For me, it's about what I can do with the money that helps," he says. "Because I've been in higher education for so long, I'd rather leave that as a legacy to my students."

Friedel says he hopes the students who receive his scholarship will not only benefit financially, but also spiritually through their education. He hopes they understand the synergy of their Catholic life with their education and in their search for the truth while at Southeast. He said he hopes this connection will lead them to a stronger faith and service not just with the church but also in their personal and professional lives.

The Catholic Campus Ministry/Rev. J. Francis Friedel Scholarship is awarded to students who are practicing Catholics, have a history of leadership in church and school, or graduated from Christian Brothers San Miguel Schools. A letter of reference from a pastor or principal and an essay by the applicant are required. Recipients must maintain a 3.5 GPA to keep the scholarship.

Friedel is director of Catholic Campus Ministry at Missouri Southern State University, director of Vocations and Seminarians for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Joplin, Missouri.

Plan Your Support for SEMO
To learn more about planning a gift to the Southeast Missouri University Foundation, 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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