Hazel Thorson Stoeckeler: Gratitude and Lifetime Income—A Generous Gift Pays Back in More Ways Than One

Hazel Thorson Stoeckeler

Hazel Thorson Stoeckeler

Throughout her rich and varied career spanning more than seven decades, Hazel Thorson Stoeckeler has played many roles: educator, wife, visual artist, mother, university professor and world traveler.

Stoeckeler has visited all seven continents in her extensive travels, during which she captured her impressions through hundreds of 4x6-inch watercolor paintings and sketches. More than 40 of these paintings were recently published in Porthole Views of the World (in collaboration with poet Elizabeth Weber).

For those who have met Stoeckeler, these diminutive paintings might seem in character, since she stands less than 5 feet in height. In reality, however, they mask an imagination and talent of enormous magnitude. Two of Stoeckeler's best-known works are murals, including the 10x45-foot mural, "The Epic of Minnesota's Great Forests," in the University of Minnesota's Green Hall.

This talent and enthusiasm for teaching brought her to the University of Minnesota's department of design, where she taught for 27 years. Her retirement in 1981 as a tenured associate professor did not, however, signal an end to her teaching. Stoeckeler continued to share her love for the visual arts through community and adult-education settings.

And then she discovered Augsburg's "College of the Third Age," a program for older learners at neighborhood sites.

"I am so grateful to Augsburg for recognizing and valuing the talents and experience of retired teachers like myself," said Stoeckeler. "It's been a blessing to work with a college that understands learning is lifelong."

It was this gratitude that triggered her decision to give back to Augsburg in a very tangible way, by establishing a scholarship fund for students majoring in the visual arts.

"I've known of the benefits of charitable gift annuities for some time," remarked Stoeckeler. "I've established several of them with other nonprofits, and wanted to do the same for Augsburg." She likes the regular annuity payments from Augsburg, as well as the charitable deduction for her federal income taxes.

She was pleasantly surprised, however, by another benefit—membership in the Sven Oftedal Society. When Stoeckeler established her first charitable gift annuity at Augsburg (she's now done two of them), she became a member of the Sven Oftedal Society, which recognizes those who have made a future gift commitment to the College.

"With my own Norwegian heritage," Stoeckeler noted, "it was delightful to learn of the impact Sven Oftedal, a Norwegian immigrant, had on Augsburg. And it's an even greater delight to meet current Augsburg students, knowing they represent the young people who will one day benefit from my scholarship fund."

For further information about charitable gift annuities and other gift plans, and how they can benefit your situation, contact Amy Alkire at 612-330-1188 or alkirea@augsburg.edu.

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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