Duane '66 and Denay Oyen
Duane Oyen had no clear idea of what he wanted to do with his life when he came to Luther College in 1962. However, according to the Oyens, those four years were life-changing for Duane, a farm kid, and their gifts to Luther have been given in appreciation for that experience. Duane credits Luther's faculty, especially Darrell Lewis '60, Warren Berg '48, and Ed Kaschins, for providing the necessary guidance and encouragement for him to be successful. After his Luther years, Duane enrolled in graduate school at the University of Iowa to study economics, and he later enjoyed a career in academia as a university professor.
"Our gifts have come through close work with Development Office staff over many years. We worked with a development officer to endow the Rose and Burton Oyen Nursing/Health Care Scholarship in memory of my (Duane's) parents, supporting junior and senior students majoring in nursing. A number of years ago, I requested an illustration for a charitable unitrust, funded by a gift of an appreciated asset. Although the timing was not right then, I kept the illustration."
In 2017 the timing was right, and the Oyens contacted the Development Office to make a gift of an appreciated asset by means of a charitable unitrust. "Through our gift, we formed two new endowments. The Duane B. and Denay S. Oyen Applied Learning Endowment supports internship and applied learning opportunities for students majoring in economics or business, and the Duane B. and Denay S. Oyen Endowed Scholarship in Economics supports a junior or senior majoring in economics-the student selection is based on merit and promise for the future. We structured the gift to provide us with multiple benefits; the gift will reduce our income tax liability and will pay us an annual income over our lifetimes."
Setting up a charitable unitrust funded by the gift of an appreciated asset can resolve two somewhat conflicting desires-the desire to donate to Luther and the desire to provide income for one's family. The unitrust generates immediate income from tax savings and lifetime income from the earnings of the unitrust. The actual gift to Luther happens after the donor or donors' lifetimes.
"Everyone's financial situation is different, but a gift to Luther via a charitable unitrust is worth exploring. Two additional points worth noting: The rate of return from the gift of an appreciated asset that funds a unitrust could be close to the rate of return earned by selling the appreciated asset, paying the capital gains tax, and then buying an annuity. Also, the donor(s) may specify how Luther uses the accumulated funds."
The Oyens agree it was a pleasure working with Luther's Development Office. "The staff is well- informed, easy to work with, and concerned with carrying out our wishes. Our development officer, Paul Mullen '79, was the person we worked with most closely; he shepherded us through the process. There are many details, legal requirements and such, that have to be taken care of to ensure the gift of an appreciated asset happens correctly. Thanks to Paul and the Development Office, the entire experience went as fast and as expeditious as possible, and we now consider Paul a new friend!"
"We are happy to support Luther so that the college can continue to transform students' lives. We would encourage potential donors to have conversations with their accountants, lawyers, and the Luther College Development Office. They may find that a charitable trust is a good way to structure their giving."