IRA Used in Multiple Ways to Fund Endowed Scholarship

Sonya smiling Half a century after completing her pre-nursing education at the University of Dubuque, retired registered nurse Sonya Smith is funding an endowed scholarship to help current UD students pursue their own nursing dreams.

"The University of Dubuque didn't have a nursing school at the time I attended," Sonya says, "but the years (1954-56) I spent there were most memorable to me. I loved the small classes, and that the professors cared about you and gave you the individual help you needed."

Sonya went on to earn her nursing degree from another university and moved in 1961 to Atlanta, Ga., where she still lives. Several years ago, around the time Sonya was wrestling with what to do with her estate, she happened to read that UD was trying to restart its nursing program.

"That planted the seed," Sonya says. "I decided to make a gift, to give a career to students who might not otherwise have the opportunity."

To fund her endowed scholarship, Sonya is using her individual retirement account (IRA) in three different ways. First, she is making an annual gift from the IRA. Then, she is using the Pension Protection Act of 2006 to roll a portion of the IRA into her scholarship fund, with no tax penalties. Finally, Sonya made the scholarship a beneficiary of the IRA.

"Sonya is using her IRA to help the University this year, but is also using the IRA to make a major gift and including it as part of her estate plan," says Wayne Sampson, Vice President for Gift Planning.

"Her scholarship will help nursing students realize their dreams, just like Sonya herself did after attending the University of Dubuque," Wayne says. "What better way to leave a legacy to her alma mater."

The nursing program has wonderful new classrooms and labs housed in the recently renovated University Science Center. If you are interested in making a gift for the Science Center or other opportunities to help the science and nursing programs at UD, please contact the Advancement Office at (800) 483-2586 or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to University of Dubuque a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

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The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

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