Chance also played a part in uniting Tom and Carolyn, a 1962 graduate of Texas Tech University. The two met while volunteering at a celebration in Liberty, Texas. “He came clear across the room to ask me to dance,” said Carolyn, “and the rest was history.”
After completing degrees at Texas A&M University and Rice University, Tom worked in research for Humble Oil (later ExxonMobil) and served one year with the infantry in the U.S. Army. He later completed a doctorate in physics from Texas A&M, which jump-started his 50-year teaching career. Meanwhile, Carolyn completed her doctorate and was asked by John J. Koldus, Texas A&M’s legendary vice president of student services, to create and lead the university’s student activities department, which she continued to expand and improve over the years.
“Working with Texas A&M students was the joy of my life,” Carolyn said. “I was inspired daily by their vision and commitment.” She now manages Amici Italian Imports, while Tom will continue teaching and serving as the university’s faculty athletics representative through the spring semester, after which he plans to retire.
In 2015, the Adairs established a significant planned gift of retirement assets and designated the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary of their wills to ensure that 100 percent of their estate would benefit Texas A&M. Tom directed his portion of the gift to the Department of Physics and the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, while Carolyn chose to support student activities.
“We don’t have children of our own, so giving all of our assets to benefit our adopted Aggie family made sense,” Carolyn said. “As the university grows, we hope these gifts enhance programs and provide students an opportunity to receive a world-renowned education.”
The Texas A&M Foundation received 19 gifts of retirement assets during fiscal year 2015 for a total of more than $7 million. Designating the Foundation beneficiary of your retirement account—IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or other tax-deferred plan—is a powerful planning tool and a popular way to leave a lasting legacy at Texas A&M University.
Retirement accounts left to family:
When left to families or individuals, anywhere from 35 to 60 percent of your retirement account will be paid in estate and income taxes. If a charitable gift for Texas A&M is in your plans, consider using a retirement account to fund the gift. Leave gifts of stocks, real estate and cash—assets that carry a lighter tax burden—to your family.
Retirement accounts left to the Texas A&M Foundation:
As a nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives your retirement account free of tax. 100 percent of your retirement account can be used to fund an endowment that will benefit the Texas A&M program or department you choose in perpetuity.
Because most people don’t use all of their retirement assets during their lifetimes, a gift of retirement assets is easily achievable. It only takes two simple steps:
Designate the Texas A&M Foundation beneficiary (or contingent beneficiary) of all or part of your retirement account.
Contact the Texas A&M Foundation to set up the details of your future endowment.