When her alarm rings in the morning, Janice Allen ’78 begins her day just like every other: by tuning into KAMU for its “Morning Edition” news briefing.
For the past 40 years, KAMU has accompanied Allen on her daily routine, keeping her connected to her beloved school and the world at large. As a PBS station affiliated with Texas A&M University, KAMU broadcasts free FM radio and television programming to the Brazos Valley as part of the university’s mission to offer educational opportunities for students and local residents.
In recognition of its longtime impact on her life, Allen planned an IRA beneficiary gift to allow the radio station and its television counterpart, KAMU-TV, to continue providing free access to news and educational entertainment.
“I wanted to put my money toward something important in my life,” she said. “KAMU has kept me up-to-date on current events and culture through a huge range of programming that I’ve found educational and fascinating my entire life.”
Allen has been an avid devotee of KAMU and KAMU-TV since she first turned on the channel during her senior year of high school.
“My passion for KAMU started when I discovered the station in 1974,” she recalled. “I stumbled upon a British TV series called ‘Upstairs Downstairs,’ and I’ve been a fan ever since!”
Born and raised in Bryan, where her father worked for the university, Allen always understood that Texas A&M would be her college of choice. Knowing it housed her new favorite station added to the appeal, so she set off to study marketing in Mays Business School.
“Growing up here, you’re always surrounded by the Aggie Spirit,” she explained, “and Texas A&M has such a rich military history that made all of us so proud to be Aggies. That’s why I never considered going anywhere else.”
Though she moved around the country the first seven years after graduating from Texas A&M, something innately drew her back to College Station. Landing a job as an accountant in Mays Business School started Allen’s 28-year career with her alma mater, with KAMU by her side the entire journey.
“While getting ready for work every morning, I listened to this daily radio program called ‘Morning Edition,’” Allen said fondly. Covering everything from international relations and pop culture to the weather, the program makes complex news digestible to listeners, all before their first cup of coffee. “It’s been my companion for more than 40 years. KAMU is just part of my everyday life—either the radio, the TV programs or both.”
Keeping Up with the Airwaves
With no children to inherit her estate, Allen wanted her savings to benefit a good cause. After contemplating where she could make the most impact, she decided KAMU was the obvious choice.
“KAMU presents an unbiased view of current events because it is a public broadcast station with limited funding,” she explained. “The cultural awareness and educational knowledge KAMU brings to the Brazos Valley increases our exposure to world events and traditions while sparking curiosity in our little community.”
By designating the Texas A&M Foundation as the beneficiary of her IRA, Allen’s gift will create two $50,000 endowments for KAMU’s radio and television programs, respectively. Station Director Doug Walker ’88 said her generosity will allow the station to continue providing paid student internships and growing its program offerings to increase educational opportunities for all.
“KAMU’s mission is to captivate the Texas A&M community and beyond with unique, trustworthy, diverse and interesting content,” Walker said. “Janice’s generous gift is a humbling reminder of the responsibility I have in leading an entity so vital to the Brazos Valley. It shows the importance of what has been done here in KAMU’s first 50 years while also cementing our responsibility to build on that legacy.”
Did You Know?
IRAs and other tax-deferred retirement accounts are not ideal for transferring wealth to the next generation because they carry a tax burden to beneficiaries—except spouses—when inherited. But as a charitable organization, the Foundation receives retirement assets tax-free to benefit Texas A&M as you wish.
When you plan an IRA beneficiary gift, you can continue to use your account during your lifetime while knowing that your Texas A&M passions will later benefit. For more information, contact Kevin Westerman '11, assistant vice president for planned giving, at the bottom of this page.