A Gift that Grew 30-Fold

Bud and Loretta Myhre

A $44,900 real-estate gift made to Whitworth University (then College) in 1976 was recently sold for $1.15 million! The donors, Leonard “Bud” Myhre and his wife, Loretta, loved Whitworth’s mission of mind-and-heart education. Bud served on the Whitworth College Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1992; during his tenure on the board he declared, “I firmly believe in the Whitworth theme of Jesus Christ as an essential part of the college education.” The Myhres’ daughter, Sharon, graduated from Whitworth in 1966.

Bud and Loretta owned a small parcel of land in downtown Seattle that had been in Loretta’s family for generations. With Bud’s foresight that the property might increase in value over the years, they gave the parcel to Whitworth with the hope that the university would benefit in the future. The property was subject to a 99-year lease, with almost 50 years remaining.

The Whitworth Foundation board of directors oversaw management of the gift, and several times in the course of a 38-year span the lessee offered to purchase the property. Each time, the foundation board declined the offer, believing the value would continue to increase. In spring 2014, an acceptable offer was finally negotiated. Bud Myhre passed away in 2006, but Loretta and their children are thrilled that their gift will provide Whitworth with significant funds to help construct the new Cowles Music Center. The university honors Bud & Loretta for their creative philanthropy and encourages you to think outside the box as you consider supporting Whitworth.



A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Whitworth 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

Bequest Language

I hereby give, devise and bequeath to Whitworth University, a nonprofit corporation located in Spokane, Washington, and a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code,      gift of what       (the sum of $               ; or            % of my estate; the residual of my estate; or the personal/real property described herein) to be used for        purpose      (general and unrestricted use; endowment; academic programs; scholarship; facilities etc)

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 Whitworth 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 Whitworth 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 Whitworth 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 Whitworth where you agree to make a gift to Whitworth 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.

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