Following a Philanthropic Path Before Leaving a Legacy

Nancy and Aleck Darr

Nancy and Aleck Darr

For Aleck and Nancy Darr, some of the most meaningful paths in their lives weren’t planned.

Nancy’s neighbor in her hometown of Benicia was pursuing a teaching credential at Sacramento State, and was a major influence on her interest in attending the University. Aleck had a high school teacher who had attended Sac State and the campus was actually Aleck’s third stop in his higher education: first community college, then a degree from University of California, Santa Cruz, and then he decided to pursue a master’s degree in history, and later public administration. 

In 1970, their paths crossed when they met as residents in Jenkins Hall, one of the original campus residences. Nancy’s sister had recently married, and she needed a place to live for her senior year. Aleck was a graduate student working as a teaching assistant for his mentor, history professor Dennis O’Brien. A mutual friend from the residence halls introduced the two during breakfast in the dining commons, and that was the beginning of their lives together.

Aleck and Nancy married in September 1971 and commuted together to their jobs at the California Department of Motor Vehicles. “We took the 58 bus,” recalls Nancy. “That was before the light rail,” adds Aleck.

Nancy says their interest in supporting Sacramento State began with a luncheon. “When we first went to the Estate Planning 101 seminar presented by attorney Mark Drobny, we hadn’t committed our charitable support to anything permanently.”

Nancy received scholarship support from her high school and junior college, and financial assistance during her junior year. She knows the difference that even a little financial help can make. “After attending that seminar, we started making monthly gifts,” she explains.

Today, they support the Sacramento State Alumni Association Life Member Scholarship Fund with monthly donations. They have also established a deferred charitable gift annuity which, when they reach the age of 70, will provide them with a fixed quarterly payment for the rest of their lives.

The Darrs have also become members of the President’s Circle, and enjoy invitations to special Sacramento State activities such as Hornet Football and performing arts events. Their support spreads across many campus programs, including the Friends of the Library and Capital Public Radio.

“Many of the additions to the scholarship came after retirement. As we weren’t making that monthly contribution to retirement savings, we decided to use the money toward the scholarship,” Aleck says.

They have had an opportunity to meet several recipients of their scholarship, as well as the students’ parents. “They’re all different,” the Darrs say fondly of the students. “They have a lot to contribute, and they come from so many different backgrounds.”

“If you have the wherewithal to support a scholarship, you really should,” says Nancy.

“We like to think about it as a legacy that we’re leaving behind to support future generations,” adds Aleck.

To learn more about making a planned gift to the University Foundation, contact Lora L. Hollingsworth at (916) 278-6115 or at For information on additional giving opportunities, visit

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Sacramento State 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 Sacramento State, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6030, 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 Foundation 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.

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 Foundation 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 Foundation 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 Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the University Foundation 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.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address