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Why I Give: An Interview with Alex Portelli


Alex "Alpo" Portelli '81 with his wife, Gail

Name: Alex "Alpo" Portelli '81
Major: Political Science
Profession: Retired Colonel, U.S. Army

Why did you attend UT?
I was accepted to 57 U.S. colleges, including all the Ivy League schools, but after a visit to UT, decided this was the U for me! The small class sizes guaranteed a much more personalized educational experience.

What were you involved in at UT?
I participated in fencing and the UT Drill Team. (I met my wife, Gail, competing in the National Pershing Rifle Drill Meet.) I am most proud of my stint as Senior Class Rep 1980-1981.

Did you have a favorite professor?
I was fortunate to have a handful of favorite professors that served as mentors through the years-Maj. Ed Thomas of the ROTC program; Drs. Richard Piper and Bob Kerstein for poli-sci; Dr. Stephen Speronis, the gentle giant, for history; and Mon Docteur William Leith, who kept French (one of my nine fluent languages) up to par. Equally important were the writing skills taught by Dr. Andy Solomon.

Favorite place on campus?
The Rathskeller—many a good class was held there as were numerous discussion groups (and parties)!

How did UT help prepare you for a career?
UT made me what I am today. In spite of master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Army War College, the UT experience shaped my career. Through early tactical Army assignments and continued assignments as a military-political specialist in Europe (with 20 consecutive years of high-level assignments in Norway, Turkey and Germany), the UT experience set me up for success.

What friendships began at UT?
My fellow ROTC grads and Pershing Riflemen/women like the Simon and Pauchey clan to friends along fraternity-sorority row, especially Meg McCarty '80 with whom I worked admissions for UT.

Did you work while you were at UT?
I worked at Dusty Rhodes' Wrangler Ranch in Tampa Bay Mall and the Speronis family's Gandy Moorings Marina-my "history class annex" where, after work, Doc Speronis would grill me for (cherished) hours on history, Byzantine culture, social science, cultural science and comparative religion.

How do you stay connected with UT?
Mostly online, with The Minaret, but also through the UT Journal. Anyone up for an alumni gathering in the Carolinas?

Why do you support UT?
I owe UT more than anyone can imagine. Gail spent my senior year with me and has fond memories as well. Giving to UT has been an annual event through the years; a small amount here, a larger amount there. Now we have decided to start with a large pledge to UT and hope to add to it over time. We hope our gift will help catapult UT students to the forefront of their chosen professions throughout the future.

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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