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First Generation College Student

Bob Yates: M.S. in Education, Assistant Director of Admissions, 1966-97

Bob YatesNo one in Bob Yates's family ever had the opportunity to attend college, and he didn't think he would be any different. After graduating from Wilson High School in rural Arkansas, Bob worked briefly as a cashier for Delta Products Company, but that simply wasn't enough for him.

Bob enlisted in the Air Force and served for four years, but then decided it was time for a change. He became the first in his family to attend college when he enrolled at Arkansas State in 1955. One degree, however, was not going to be enough. He moved to Memphis in 1965 to attend graduate school at Memphis State University. He never left.

Bob will not hesitate to tell you that financial assistance changed his life completely. Very simply, he could not have attended undergraduate school without the G.I. bill, nor the University without an assistantship. That support changed his life.

Bob's career at the UofM spanned 31 years. He worked in the Office of Admissions, where he was in charge of undergraduate transfer admissions and non-traditional credit. Bob also toured with the University Singers as an admissions representative, and he was with them when they performed at the New Orleans World's Fair and in Carnegie Hall.

Bob says, "I can relate to those first generation students who come from similar backgrounds, and I am blessed to have the means to support the established scholarships through the office of planned giving and the Foundation. Because of the assistance I received, I was able to fully enjoy and appreciate the "college experience." As a result, I spent 42 wonderful years in higher education."

As a result of his great interest in music, in 2014, Bob created The Robert W. Yates Choral Music Scholarship. He makes a current gift each year to cover that award, and as a result, he gets to meet the recipients and follow their success. Ultimately, that fund will be endowed, because Bob has made the University of Memphis Foundation a beneficiary of his IRA accounts.

He has also created The Nancy J. Koch and Minda Y. Agustin Memorial Scholarship in Nursing. He established this fund both to honor the memory of his sister, Nancy, and to express his gratitude and appreciation for Minda, who provided compassionate care for his family members for over 30 years. Bob intends to provide that award annually as well, and his planned gift will endow it at some point in the future.

Bob is one of many former faculty and staff who took advantage of the services of Thompson & Associates, provided at no cost by the University. Of his work with Jeremy Pharr, the consultant for the UofM, he says, "Regardless of your status or stage in life, you need to feel confident that matters of this nature are complete and up to date. I completed the initial process in a few meetings with Jeremy, but I have checked in with him on several occasions since that point. He has helped me repeatedly in putting together my estate gift."

These days, Bob's schedule is packed. He volunteers at Baptist Hospital for Women, is very active in the University of Memphis Association of Retirees, and still sings in church music programs. For his commitment to the Foundation in his estate plans, Bob is a member of the Columns Society and regularly attends those events.

We are grateful to Bob for being an active and dedicated supporter of the University of Memphis. If you, like Bob, have made plans that include the UofM, please let us know, so that we can welcome you to the Columns Society and ensure that the University can carry out your wishes in the future. Contact Dan H. Murrell, CFRE at 901-678-2732 or

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of Memphis 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 Memphis, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 635 Normal St. Memphis, TN 38152, 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 Memphis 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 Memphis 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 Memphis 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 Memphis where you agree to make a gift to the University of Memphis 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.