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Gifts Come in All Kinds of Packages

Cathy and Stephen HorganWhen Stephen Horgan contacted the Mount Mercy Alumni and Development Office in January 2016, his mission was clear. He wanted to honor his wife Cathy upon her retirement from The Coca-Cola Company and surprise her on her 50th birthday.

What transpired was a thing of beauty. But first, here is the back story.

Catherine Bral Horgan graduated from Mount Mercy College in 1988 with a double major in marketing and business management. She personally financed her education by working all four years, and she credits her success to her parents (Dorothy and Leroy) and their strong work ethic and deep desire to be successful.

Her mother, Dorothy Jean Kelly Bral, graduated from the Mount Mercy Academy in 1943 and the Junior College in 1945. Dorothy’s education, work experiences, world travel and never-ending encouragement and support instilled in Cathy a belief that she could accomplish anything. Cathy was inspired to attend Mount Mercy not only to honor Dorothy, but to receive a quality education in a positive environment.

During her senior year at Mount Mercy, Cathy secured an internship with General Mills, which kick-started her career. She joined General Mills after graduation and stayed with the company for seven years.

From there, Cathy went to The Dial Corporation for two successful years and then joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1997, where she served in several senior executive roles. She broke through traditional corporate barriers and made significant contributions on many diverse fronts for 19 years. She retired from Coca-Cola as an executive vice president and left a legacy of diverse associates and managers who will continue to make a positive impact in the coming decades.

As a complete surprise to Cathy, her husband Stephen established the Catherine Bral Horgan and Dorothy Kelly Bral Endowed Scholarship, with a generous gift of appreciated securities plus a 2:1 matching gift from The Coca-Cola Company. The scholarship was announced in front of Cathy’s family and friends at a surprise birthday party in her hometown of Marengo on April 16, 2016.

Cathy hopes the scholarship will inspire recipients to remember where they started, encourage them to give back to others who will be on similar journeys with similar challenges and recognize that opportunities are endless for women with dreams of their own. Her scholarship will provide assistance for female students with preference given to students majoring in business, whose G.P.A. is at least 3.2 and who come from Iowa or Benton Counties.

Cathy is very proud to be from Iowa, to have her degree from Mount Mercy University, and of her family who always inspired her to do more, be more and give more.

Find Your Inspiration

As you plan your year-end giving, consider these 5 easy ways to support Mount Mercy before Dec. 31. Contact Lonna Drewelow at (319) 286-4408 or for helpful tips about getting the most from your gift this year.

eBrochure Request Form

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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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.