How a Donor's Gift Is Still Influencing Lives Nearly a Century Later

Anna Backer reading In 1924, Anna Backer wanted to remember her husband George, who was an 1869 graduate of SLUH (formerly known as St. Louis Academy), in a lasting way. In his memory, she gave the school a new facility at its current location on Oakland Avenue.

Anna then, after her death in 1936, left the remainder of her estate to SLUH. Archbishop Glennon announced at the time that her gift of $500,000 was the largest gift to Catholic education in the history of St. Louis.

The value of this gift is equivalent to $83.5 million in today's dollars*.

Training of the Soul
In Anna's eulogy, Fr. William Robison, S.J., said, "She grasped the oft-forgotten truth that sound education means the training of the soul, the building of a character, the fashioning of a man, the equipping of youth to become worthy citizens of their earthly country, without ever ceasing to be faithful members to that eternal City of God, and in this realization she made her splendid gift of St. Louis University High School."

Today, the Backer Memorial stands as a living tribute and an inspiring model of generosity. All SLUH alumni have benefited to some degree from the Backer Family, particularly through scholarship assistance. The Backers have provided SLUH with needed support for many years; however, the school has long since outgrown the ability of the Backer Fund alone to sustain its level of financial assistance.

How You Can Help
SLUH's needs, like those of every leading institution, have grown significantly in the past several decades. SLUH relies on the generosity of its alumni and benefactors to maintain its rich tradition. Planned giving continues to be an excellent way to preserve this legacy for future generations of students.

To learn how you can set up a gift from your will or estate, click here.

*Utilizing the relative share of GDP

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Louis University High School 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

UNRESTRICTED USE AND PURPOSE
"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to St. Louis University High School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

RESTRICTED USE AND PURPOSE
"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to St. Louis University High School [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [scholarship name or another specific 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 SLUH 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 SLUH 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 SLUH 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 SLUH where you agree to make a gift to SLUH 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

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eBrochure Request Form

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