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Don and Jean McCormick Are Sharing a Love of Learning

Don and Jean McCormick

Don and Jean McCormick are investing in the Emory University Emeritus College.

Don and Jean McCormick are supporting Emory University's Emeritus College by making it a beneficiary of their retirement account.

A retired professor with a lifelong interest in science and a love of learning, Don McCormick helped pioneer the division of biological sciences, the department of genetics, and a program in nutrition and health science at Emory University.

Now retired, he and his wife, Jean McCormick, are preserving their intellectual interests by an estate gift to Emory's Emeritus College, which he helped create. By designating the college as a beneficiary of their IRA, the McCormicks want to ensure it remains strong. "Our furry companion, Daisy (who says, 'adopt, don't shop'), supports this decision," McCormick says.

"As we approached retirement, my wife and I believed that both emeritus faculty and the university would benefit from having a college structure that encouraged the continuing scholarship of faculty members who were interested in and able to contribute," he says. "That belief is now the Emeritus College of Emory University."

McCormick earned two degrees at Vanderbilt University, completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California-Berkeley, and became the Liberty Hyde Bailey professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University, where he began his academic career.

"After nearly 20 years at Cornell, with our three children growing up, we moved to Emory," McCormick says. At Emory, he served as chairman of the department of biochemistry from 1979 to 1994 and as executive associate dean for the basic science departments of the school of medicine.

McCormick is recognized worldwide for his pioneering work in metabolism and function of water-soluble vitamins. He has published more than 350 science-related papers and received many awards throughout his career. To honor and recognize his outstanding research in biochemistry and molecular biology, the Emory University Department of Biochemistry held annual Donald B. McCormick lectures for several years.

An IRA gift is one of several options for donors who want to support the university. Emory's Office of Gift Planning helps alumni and friends find giving strategies that support their interests while making the most of their assets. Planned gifts can provide income to donors and heirs, help minimize taxes, and create permanent endowments that link the names of donors or their loved ones with Emory's work.

To learn more, call Emory Office of Gift Planning at 404.727.8875 or email

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Emory University 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 give to Emory University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Atlanta, GA, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

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 Emory 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 Emory 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 Emory 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 Emory where you agree to make a gift to Emory 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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