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KSU Foundation

Alumni gifts ensure professor's memory lives on


Geology students form 'KSU' atop Mount Washburn in Yellowstone National Park on a trip funded by the Beck Field Geology Fund.

Truly outstanding professors do more than teach — they inspire their students. Geology professor Henry Beck was one of those extraordinary teachers and his inspirational teaching will extend beyond the classroom, thanks to a fund established in his honor.

After Beck passed away in 1986, former students started the fund to commemorate him and continue the tradition of field exploration he emphasized so strongly during more than three decades of teaching.

Gene Ratcliff, of Edmond, Okla., was Beck's student in 1955, when firsthand exposure to western rock formations required teaming up with other universities. Ratcliff recalls spending six weeks that summer with fellow students under Beck's leadership, improving primitive grounds in Beulah, Colo. that would serve for many years as K-State's very own geology field camp.

"Henry's attitude was the more rocks you could see as a geologist, the better off you would be. I later realized he spent a lot of time and money to help us," said Ratcliff, who recently made a planned gift to benefit the Henry V. Beck Field Geology Fund.

In recent years, K-State geology students have taken field expeditions to Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley National Park - largely with help from the Beck Fund. It was exactly the sort of purpose Ratcliff envisioned when he supported the fund with matching donations from former employer Kerr-McGee Corporation, coupled with a bequest in his trust.

"I thought about a scholarship, but felt Henry deserved more," Ratcliff said. "I can't emphasize how much of a teacher he was."

Honor someone who changed your life
A bequest in a will or trust is one of the most common ways to support K-State and honor a friend or relative who made a difference in the world. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact the Gift Planning team at 785-532-6266 or

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the KSU 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 give to the KSU Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Manhattan, KS, 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 K-State 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 K-State 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 K-State 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 K-State where you agree to make a gift to K-State 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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