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Four Years, a Lifetime of Memories

Patricia Oliver

Patricia Oliver

After Patricia Oliver '72 first visited the Mount Mercy campus with her sister in the summer of 1966, she never even looked at another college. She wanted to attend a small, private college and she fell in love with the well-groomed campus at Mount Mercy.

When Pat entered Mount Mercy in 1968, it was an all-women's college and tuition for the first semester was $375. Students were expected to attend daily mass. She remembers sharing a "community bathroom" at the far end of the floor and having one pay phone for all the girls.

On Pat's first night at Mount Mercy, the freshman girls were awakened by upperclassmen at 5 a.m. and led to a location where they received beanies. For one week, they were expected to wear the beanies at all times. If caught without a beanie, they were required to do whatever the upperclassmen asked, which could mean scrubbing the floors with a toothbrush or singing the school song in public.

"Our floor mother, Sister Gladys Daly, was a very progressive nun," Pat recalls. "We bought her a yellow sweater for Christmas in 1968 and she wore it over her habit! Then, in 1969, we gave her a hair dryer. Yes, the nuns had hair under their veils!"

Pat was extremely shy going into college, but like many others she gained confidence during her time at Mount Mercy. She started as a math major but when, as she puts it, "calculus was too much for me," Sister Immaculata helped her transition to business and secondary education—a perfect fit. Pat went on to spearhead Mount Mercy's affiliation with Phi Beta Lambda, embracing its mission of bringing business and education together in a positive work environment. She was a charter member and the first president of the Chapter.

Pat and her classmates witnessed some historic changes during their college years. In 1969, the first two male students were admitted to Mount Mercy and then in 1970 the January exploratory term was introduced to the academic calendar.

A 1972 note in Pat's file shows that her consistent annual support for Mount Mercy began even before she graduated:

"After a few years of saying 'thank you for your gift to the Annual Alumni Fund,' I find it difficult to say anything more meaningful. Therefore, I repeat that ‘thank you' with greater emphasis because we are all aware of the economic pinch everyone is feeling. We are most grateful for your donation."
—Sister Mary Ruth Torpey, Alumni Director

Pat's successful career in the insurance industry began at Mount Mercy and spanned 42 years. A summer job in crop insurance led to a full-time job in insurance after graduation. She started rating policies and later became department manager. Pat enjoyed training others and taught accounting in the evening at Kirkwood Community College for 13 years.

Pat was no stranger to hard work. She grew up on a farm near Keswick, Iowa, the youngest of three girls. She did field work and worked side by side with her dad. When he passed away in 1980, she inherited a portion of the family farm and decided it was time to draft a will. She was proud to have graduated from Mount Mercy and knew she wanted to remember her alma mater through her estate.

In 1985, Pat became a charter member of the Heritage Club which recognizes individuals who have included Mount Mercy in their estate plans or who have made a significant gift to the institution's endowment.

Pat's paver on the Rohde Family Plaza permanently records her affection: "Four Years, A Lifetime of Memories."

Her pride grew even stronger when her nephew, Jon Strang, graduated from Mount Mercy in 1988. Pat's enthusiasm continues in retirement. She has run half marathons, enjoys biking, traveling, volunteering and following the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers.

Over the years, Pat has updated her will to increase her consideration for Mount Mercy. She has designated a significant portion of her estate to benefit the same areas that she has supported throughout her life-scholarships, campus ministry, athletics and capital improvements.

If you would like to extend your support of Mount Mercy and make a lasting impact through education, contact Lonna Drewelow at (319) 286-4408 or to discuss a charitable plan that reflects your priorities and advances the mission of Mount Mercy University.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Mount Mercy 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 Mount Mercy University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Cedar Rapids, IA, 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 Mount Mercy 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 Mount Mercy 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 Mount Mercy 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 Mount Mercy University where you agree to make a gift to Mount Mercy 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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