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A Great Adventure

SyronsJohn W. Syron Jr. '74 can't wait until baseball season begins at UT. He'll be sitting at the Sam Bailey Baseball Field, cheering for his favorite team-and especially his favorite player, John W. "Jack" Syron IV, his grandson.

Jack is a third generation Spartan, but always first in his grandfather's eyes.

"I'm so proud of Jack," John says. "He's a fine young man, but then I'm proud of all my children."

John's son, Mike, and daughter-in-law, Kathleen, are 1976 UT grads and his daughter, Mary Kay, graduated from UT in 1990.

His grandson, Jack, is projected to graduate in 2018, 34 years after his grandfather graced UT's hallowed halls. And if John has his way, there will be more generations of Syrons to graduate from his alma mater.

A favorite topic for John is the American judicial system and his illustrious career in law enforcement.

"I went into law enforcement because I wanted to help people. It's about rehabilitation. It's about helping people straighten out their lives and seeing to it that they get the help they need," he explains.

John was born in the small town of Floral Park, New York, on Long Island. At 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during World War II. In 1950, he joined his family on vacation in Tarpon Springs, Florida, and met and married "a red-headed Greek girl," Tasula. He also attended St. Petersburg Junior College and became "hooked" on education.

Eventually John had an opportunity to join the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He was hired in 1962 and spent 31 years handling everything from criminal investigations to managing the maximum security jail.

As division commander, John oversaw between 1,200 and 1,400 inmates a day and 300 employees. After retirement, he went to work for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office for nine more years.

UT Adventure Begins
Along the way, John managed to earn two undergraduate degrees, in sociology and criminology, and his masters degree from UT. In addition, he was part of UT's adjunct faculty from 1974 - 1979, teaching courses in areas of criminal justice.

Highlights from John's days at UT include serving as president of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the national criminal justice fraternity, and membership in Kappa Delta Pi, the national education honor society.

"I can honestly say that I can't remember any time at UT, either as a student or adjunct faculty member, that wasn't a great adventure," John says. "The grassy area east of the original student center, the cast iron benches and the quietly moving Hillsborough River were always very soothing to me."

John added that he always had a strong drive to stay connected to UT. One of his connections translates into monthly contributions for the Fredrick Spaulding Society.

"I am happy to help the students and the University," he says. "I would strongly encourage other UT alumni to think about helping out."

John now lives in Pasco County but said he will make the trek to Tampa to see his grandson play baseball at UT.

"I'll be at every game, unless I'm in the hospital!"

Learn How You Can Make a Difference
If you would like to give back to the University of Tampa with a planned gift, contact The Office of Planned Giving at 813-258-7373 or We would be happy to help you find the gift that's right for you, at no obligation.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University of Tampa 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

Bequest Language

The official legal bequest language for The University of Tampa is: "I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The University of Tampa [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 The University of Tampa 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 The University of Tampa as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 The University of Tampa 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 The University of Tampa where you agree to make a gift to The University of Tampa 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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