Harvey '52 and Joanne (Varner) Peterson Make Unique Gift to Augsburg

Donor Photo

Harvey and Joanne Peterson made a $250,000 gift to Augsburg, using a paid-up life insurance policy.

"It felt like cutting off my right arm," Harvey Peterson '52 says about selling CATCO, the company that had been in his family for three generations. He joined his father, Art's, fledgling company, Clutch and Transmission Services, in 1951 while still an Augsburg student.

By the time the family sold the renamed company in 2012, all three of his children worked in the business. The firm, selling and servicing heavy duty parts for trucks, had grown to 18 locations spread over a five-state area.

Suddenly Harvey and his wife, Joanne '52, faced a stewardship decision. What to do with the resources God had placed in their care?

Investing in Vitality, Making an Impact

They chose to give $250,000 to Augsburg to sponsor the Electronic Modern Physics Laboratory in the Center for Science, Business and Religion.

Interestingly, they do not have a personal tie to physics. Harvey, a star athlete in high school and college, double majored in business and sociology. Joanne majored in sociology with minors in English and business. Her favorite activity on campus was singing in the Augsburg Choir.

So why sponsor a physics lab?

"Forward Momentum"

"The Center for Science, Business and Religion demonstrates how Augsburg is preparing for the future with energy and vitality, and we know that the CSBR is the next step to helping the school advance," Joanne explains. "We want to be a part of that forward momentum."

Harvey adds, "We have been giving to Augsburg for many years, and we had an opportunity after selling our business to increase our support. This gift is about our Christian faith and about relationships. We wanted to give something back to the place that means so much to us."

"We want to support Augsburg because we are thrilled that young people, especially those who have very little money, can gain access to a college education," Joanne says. "And we appreciate the college's urban location."

Choosing connection over differences

They have deep ties to the college beyond their own student years, when each lived with their families while commuting to campus for classes and activities. Their daughter Lia graduated from Weekend College, and Harvey served on Augsburg's Board of Regents from 1984-1996. He was elected to the Augsburg Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 for his contributions as a quarterback for the football team, and shortstop and third baseman for the baseball team.

Harvey says he and Joanne are more conservative than many people on campus today. That potentially could have gotten in the way of their support for Augsburg. He reflects, "Our faith teaches us to give. And now when we reach the point in our lives where we can give a more sizeable gift, we think carefully about where to put our dollars. We ask ourselves, ‘What do we love?' And we realize how much we love Augsburg. This college has meant so much to us over the years. We feel it is a good place for us to put the money."

Paid-Up Life Insurance Policy Made a Wonderful Gift

The Petersons surrendered a life insurance policy to Augsburg, which had gained more value than they realized. Augsburg sold the policy for the cash value to make the dollars available immediately for the CSBR. Giving this investment provided tax advantages, and the couple added a gift of cash to expand their gift. "We set up the policy years ago," Harvey says, "but we had ignored the notices on value. Suddenly this seemed like a wonderful choice for a charitable gift."

The Petersons live in Edina, Minn., and are members of Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.

Have You Planned a Gift to Augsburg?

Donating a life insurance policy is just one way you can support the students and programs at Augsburg. There are many types of planned gifts that can provide you with benefits as well. Contact Amy Alkire at 612-330-1188 or alkirea@augsburg.edu today to learn more, at no obligation.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Augsburg 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 Augsburg University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2211 Riverside Ave., CB 142, Minneapolis, MN 55454, 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University 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 Augsburg University where you agree to make a gift to Augsburg University 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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