After spending 17 years at Creighton University, Bernd Fritzsch had decided it was time to make a move professionally. For the long-time researcher and faculty member, his top priority was to maintain an active laboratory.
"When I talked to some colleagues at the University of Iowa, they encouraged me to take a look," said Fritzsch. "Two fellow amphibian researchers who I knew were here at that time—President Sally Mason and Linda Maxson, who was dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Knowing that I had communication partners in higher administration was a strong motivation for me to come to Iowa and pursue my research."
Fritzsch, who lived in Germany until age 40, took a position as departmental executive officer with the UI Department of Biology in 2008. It proved to be a big turning point for his own research. "I was pursuing research on the molecular development of genes, but at Iowa, I'm now 100 percent in aging and molecular basis in aging," he said.
Today, Fritzsch serves as director of the Center on Aging and the Aging Mind and Brain Initiative, and is a professor within the Department of Biology. While his research pursuits have changed vastly from the past—now uncovering more about how information comes from the ear to the brain—it's his very research at the UI that has driven his philanthropy.
"Joining the University of Iowa at age 60 opened a new chapter in my life—one that reshaped my research and brought me unprecedented recognition at the national and international level," said Fritzsch. "At Iowa, I've also felt a sense of belonging that I have not experienced since I left Germany. The University of Iowa was and is, for me, a true intellectual home of unprecedented richness, which I strive to support and maintain as a landmark of intellectual achievement for the next generation."
While he continues to support the Fritzsch Funds for the Friends of Technical University in Darmstadt, Germany, where he studied biology and received his Ph.D. in zoology, Fritzsch started giving annually to the Department of Biology upon his arrival at Iowa. In 2013, Fritzsch and his wife, Marie Dominique Crapon de Caprona—who is a UI visiting professor—named University of Iowa Center for Advancement as a beneficiary of Bernd's retirement plan in order to establish the Fritzsch Research Fund within the Department of Biology.
Because Fritzsch is leaving retirement plan assets to University of Iowa Center for Advancement—a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization—the entire value of the retirement plan will go to support the Fritzsch Research Fund. Those same assets, when left to individuals, would be subject to both federal and state income tax, greatly reducing the amount those beneficiaries would eventually receive.
The fund will provide support for research seed grants, which Fritzsch views as vital for the success of research in the future.
"The U.S. funding system requires preliminary data for a federal grant application, but there is no mechanism in place for how to finance the needed research to generate preliminary data," said Fritzsch. "This gap blocks many great ideas from ever becoming reality simply because they never start. Our intent is to partially overcome this financial block with this gift. The University of Iowa has given so much to me and my success that I want to contribute to its on-going success."
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax adviser. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of Iowa 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 the University of Iowa, a nonprofit corporation currently located at P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244, 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 the University of Iowa 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 the University of Iowa 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 the University of Iowa 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 Iowa where you agree to make a gift to the University of Iowa 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.