Giving Back to Build a Legacy

Richard and Angela BlackburnRummaging through the five boxes that contain the legacy of Richard "Dick" Blackburn '49 at Santa Clara University's archives, you'll come across the standard milestones of a long life well lived. Here are letters home to his parents from boarding school, high school track meet ribbons, several worn leather notebooks full of topographic drawings with equations and measurements in the tidiest handwriting you've ever seen.

Dick and his wife, Angela, both only children, left their estate, including their home in San Jose's Rose Garden neighborhood, to Santa Clara after their deaths in 2016 and 2010, respectively. Coming to Santa Clara was "momentous to Dick," says Adrienne Adriani, who grew up next door to the Blackburns. "Getting an education there was a big deal."

After serving in Japan in the U.S. Army, Dick earned a degree in Civil Engineering at SCU, where he was among a cadre of World War II veterans on campus.

Richard BlackburnHe met Angela, born in 1918 to Italian immigrants, at a dance for veterans attending Santa Clara. They were married in 1946 in Carmel. In every wedding photo, the pair, both dressed in smart suits, cannot contain their grins.

"They didn't have much in the way of family but they didn't seem at a loss. They were all each other needed," says Adrienne. She says the quiet, stylish couple were foils to her big, boisterous Italian family, but they all became close friends of her parents. "I remember they were ahead of their time. Dick installed solar panels on his house way back in the 1950s."

Dick spent his entire career with the City of San Jose Public Works Department, while Angela worked for the California Highway Patrol. After retirement, he volunteered with Santa Clara University as an advisor while El Camino Real was rerouted around campus.

Richard and Angela BlackburnThe couple were avid travelers but always returned to Santa Clara for most every alumni reunion and event. Classmate Rick Rechenmacher '49, the designated trustee of the Blackburn estate, says, "Around here, that's where the action was, where you felt like you were doing something good for the world." The Blackburns wanted to give back, he says, to the place that helped them build their legacy. Their gift of real estate was used to create the Richard and Angela Blackburn Fund for Engineering is a lasting legacy for students and faculty that will give back forever.

Your support for Santa Clara can last forever, too. Contact the Gift Planning team at or 408-554-2108 to learn how a planned gift to SCU can help you leave a long legacy, just like the Blackburns.

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

"I give to Santa Clara University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053-1400, 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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU where you agree to make a gift to SCU 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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