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Why I Give: An Interview With Bruce Meltzer

Bruce E. Meltzer

Name: Bruce E. Meltzer '73
Major: Sociology with a minor in business
Current profession: Owner of ZFD Inc.

Why did you choose to attend The University of Tampa?
I grew up on Long Island, so when it came time to apply for college, I decided that I wanted to move to a warmer climate. I was accepted to two colleges in New York as well as The University of Miami, but I chose to attend UT because I liked the University's compact campus and small student body, which numbered around 2,500 in the late 1960s.

What were you involved in at UT?
I played all the intramural sports, first as a member of the Lykes Hall "Rats" and later as a member of Theta Chi Fraternity. We had a tremendous rivalry with the physical education majors.

The Lykes Hall "Rats"?
We were known as the "Rats" because of the ratty conditions of our dorm in comparison to McKay and Delo Hall, where the other students lived.

Lykes Hall was located at 301 Plant Ave. It was a four-story brick building that was held erect by a series of railroad tracks that were attached to the exterior. The downstairs was a lounge area and TV room that opened up to a big front porch, while the upstairs floors were made up of bedrooms. The dorm housed approximately 80 male students from the Northeast, and we all had nicknames. Bunky, Stork, Lumpy, Pearl, Miner and "Roommate" were popular figures from the dorm.

Dean Benton, the dean of men, was a frequent visitor to the dorm, and not to commend us on our good behavior.

Most memorable professor?
I admired Dr. Charles Walker, who I had for Biology 101. It is quite possible that he was the smartest man on campus. I also developed great relationships with Dr. Charles West, vice president of student affairs; Dr. Charlie Hyde, dean of faculty; and Dr. Al Terry, professor of economics. In fact, Dr. Terry gave me my first job at an investment advisory firm shortly after I graduated in 1973.

Why do you support UT?
I support UT because I believe that the University offers a quality educational and personal experience. There have been many times since graduating that I've realized that the place I am in now is directly related to my choice to attend UT. Any time I see the minarets of Plant Hall, I feel that I am a part of something great, and the care that has been taken to ensure the forward progress and success of UT is definitely a cause I like being part of.

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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