Leaving a Legacy Gift: An Expert’s Perspective

Q&A With Rebecca A. Gardner

Rebecca Gardner

Rebecca A. Gardner ’99 and her husband, Rodney Moy, prioritize giving to Sacramento State through their estate plan. They are pictured with their son, Henry.

What has Sacramento State meant to you?
As a student, Sacramento State meant opportunity. Sacramento State was one of the few universities in the country that, at the time, offered a government/journalism program, and with the state capitol right here, this felt like the right place for me. I connected closely with my professors face-to-face with small class sizes, unlike some other universities that have large lecture halls. The faculty truly care about teaching here, and they do a good job of preparing students for the world. I received a wonderful education that helped launch me into graduate school and onto my career.

I now have the chance to give back as a lecturer in Communication Studies at Sacramento State. The students have such excitement and drive, and as a teacher, it’s amazing to see their outlook shift before your eyes. Many of my Sacramento State professors encouraged me to pursue law school, and it’s important to me that now I can help guide others on their future paths.

Why did you decide to make a gift to Sacramento State in your will and trust?
My husband and I married in our late 30s, and we knew we wanted to have a family. We were active in various organizations in Sacramento that we cared about and where we were already giving our time and annual donations. When planning our own estate, it made sense to include these charities in our plans in addition to providing for our family.

Personally, my parents, both Sac State alums, modeled the importance of philanthropy throughout my childhood. Even though they had modest incomes, they would save envelopes from various charitable solicitations they would receive, and every payday, we would select one or two organizations and make a donation. They showed me that no matter what you have, you can always give something to help others, and that lesson has stayed with me.

What do you say to someone considering making a gift through their estate plan?
I tell people that planning for a future gift is not as complicated as you might think. There are some easy ways to designate a gift to charity, and more importantly, you are in the driver’s seat. You decide which organizations you want to support, and you can change your wishes at any time. My husband and I regularly sit down and review our estate plan to ensure that the organizations we included are still those that we care most about and want to support.

If you could tell everyone just one thing about Sacramento State, what would it be?
If you want it to, Sacramento State can feel like family. You can join the Alumni Association, attend a variety of events and connect with other Hornets. There are many opportunities to engage and join others who support the University to show your support of education, and be part of the Hornet family. Find something you are passionate about, and consider leaving a gift.

Rebecca A. Gardner graduated from Sacramento State in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Government/Journalism and Humanities. Rebecca now works as a partner at HMS Law Group, LLP in Sacramento. She focuses on general and complex estate planning, post-death trust and probate administration, business planning and art law. Additionally, Rebecca serves as an adjunct faculty member at Sacramento State. As a proud Hornet alumna, Rebecca volunteered as a board member and board president of the Sacramento State Alumni Association and remains engaged with programming and events. Rebecca and her husband, Rodney Moy, involve their son, Henry, in all things Sac State and he has been boasting “Stingers up!” since he was a toddler.

Supporting Sacramento State through your estate plan can be easier than you think. To learn more, contact Lora L. Hollingsworth at (916) 278-6115 or lora.hollingsworth@csus.edu.