When College of Business Emeritus Professor Linn Soule and his wife, Pat Soule, began estate planning, one thing was certain – their love for Oregon State University.

Professor Soule spent his 35-year academic career at the College of Business, including launching and leading a then-new program in hotel restaurant and tourism in the 1970s. He and his wife have an enduring love for OSU Athletics, where they continue to spend days and nights cheering on the Beavers.

Soule joined the College of Business in 1967, the same year he got his first OSU football season tickets; 52 years later he and Pat remain season ticket holders.

“I suppose football is everybody's favorite," Linn said. "But we attend practically everything we can. We go to pretty much everything baseball as well as the men's and women's basketball."

Ahead of the curve, the Soules have been season ticket holders for women's basketball for 20 years. Pat played basketball during her collegiate days. Intrigued by the rule changes for women players, the Soules dropped by one of the basketball practices. “It was pretty interesting and very competitive. So we got tickets, and we've been ticket holders ever since. And, of course, now they're exceptionally good”

Ahead of the curve on their estate planning, too, the 90-year-old academic found one more lesson in business and finances while planning his gifts to the university: the Benjamin Linn and Patricia Soule Fund for the College of Business and the Benjamin Linn and Patricia Soule Fund for Athletics.

Linn and Pat chose a tax-wise plan designating gifts from their IRA to create the funds in their names. The College of Business – and our many exceptional students and elite athletes – are grateful recipients of their generosity in perpetuity.

"Whenever you pass away, between state and federal income taxes and state and federal death taxes, there's not much left to go to your heirs," Linn said. "So it makes sense to create a legacy gift for Oregon State. No taxes are due, and 100 percent of the asset goes to the university, which makes it more appealing."

The Soules never sought publicity for their gift, nor for the other gifts they've made over the years to business and entrepreneurship or the renovation of Weatherford Hall. However, the chance to explain the gifting vehicle that helps the university so much prompted them to change their minds. They see this as one more way to support the university that they love so much.

"The tax situation as I described it – this path makes sense, and it makes a difference," Linn said.

About gift planning

OSU's philanthropic community exemplifies the spirit of Beaver Nation. Whether they are alumni, parents, faculty, corporate partners, or other friends of the university, they have a passion for making positive change. They can see a path to solving problems, and they clear the way.

The Office of Gift Planning at the OSU Foundation helps donors and their professional advisors design a giving plan. Thoughtful, informed planning can yield significant benefits – for the donor and for Oregon State University.

Here are a few examples of gift planning in action:

An alumnus gives a tax-burdened asset to OSU and a tax-advantaged asset to an heir
A donor creates a new scholarship with stock and endows it later through a bequest
An alumna creates a charitable trust that provides income for the rest of her life and benefits OSU in the future
A couple decides to leave their residence to OSU, with provisions that the sale of the home support scholarships

Those interested in learning more about estate planning and how to give to OSU, please contact Jeff Comfort at the OSU Foundation for a confidential conversation with no obligation.

Phone: (541)737-3756

Email Jeff Comfort