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A Planned Gift That Passes the Torch From One Generation to the Next

The Schleins

The Schleins volunteer for Emory at college fairs, and they mentor incoming freshman from the Houston area. Their planned gift will support scholarships.

Susan Schlein 75C fell in love with Emory twice, first as an elementary education major in the early 70s, and then as the proud parent of Deborah Schlein 13C, who earned her bachelor’s in Middle Eastern and South Asian studies with a minor in Arabic at Emory.

“Where I’m from, every Saturday afternoon in the fall, everybody’s at the stadium screaming, ‘Rah-rah!’ That just wasn't my thing,” she recalls, “I wanted a school that emphasized academics.”

At Emory, she found her place.

“I had a wonderful experience at Emory,” she remembers, “Such dedicated professors.” She was especially fond of Wonderful Wednesdays, “Because there were no classes on Wednesday!” While she earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education—her career goal since she was in third grade—her Emory adviser encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree in library science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she met her husband, Robert Schlein.

While he is not an alumnus, Robert’s passion for Emory—ignited as a parent—burns brightly. Our daughter Deborah blossomed at Emory. Because of her amazing experience—the nurturing, caring, guidance she got from faculty and the lifelong friendships she made with her peers in four short years—we are committed to supporting Emory. As our children grew up, and we rewrote our wills, we considered where our money can make a difference. Emory was the most logical place for us.”

The Schleins made a planned gift to support scholarships so that life-changing opportunities remain accessible to deserving students. “We want to set an example and encourage other alumni and parents to think about making planned gifts like ours,” says Robert.

What most impresses the Schleins is the degree to which Emory prepares students to address life’s challenges. “I think there’s a huge value to a liberal arts education,” Susan says, “Emory prepares you to interact with people, to ask the right questions.”

Their daughter was accepted into the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton as a PhD candidate. Robert credits Emory with Deborah’s success, “She was always an excellent student, but it just went to the next level here.”

Even as the Schleins eschew football culture, they are de facto cheerleaders for Emory in Houston, deep in the heart of football territory, where they represent Emory at numerous college fairs and Susan serves as the co-chair of alumni interviewing. They also steward incoming freshmen accepted from the Houston area.

The Schleins witnessed the rising cost of education firsthand. “I put myself through college, and what I paid over four years to go to Emory, we paid in a single year for Deborah,” Susan laments.

“We feel it’s important to give other deserving students the opportunity to flourish,” she says. “When I graduated from Emory, I never thought I would have the kind of funds available to make a meaningful gift.”

“People don’t like to think about estate planning—it’s not something that you want to dwell on,” Susan continues, “But if you had the kind of experience I had at Emory, and that our daughter had here, you want to do everything you can to ensure that these experiences continue on.”

That’s the meaning of legacy.

Learn how you can make a difference by including Emory in your estate plan. It is easier than you think. Please call Emory Office of Gift Planning at 404.727.8875. For online resources, go to

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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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