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Planned Giving

The Joy of Giving

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland, '64, and Sherry Martinson

Dr. Roland and Sherry Martinson, St. Paul, Minnesota, model the joy of giving through years of service, advocacy and financial support to Concordia College. Roland spoke with Minneapolis based gift planner, Michelle Brislin, providing a peek into their lives and the motivation behind their generosity.

Q. You graduated from Concordia in 1964 with a degree in biology. What was your experience like as a Cobber?
A. The quality of the professors is what stands out in my memories as a Concordia student. Their command of the subject matter coupled with their genuine interest in students allowed them to develop our capacity as students, and as humans.

Q. You continued your education with a master in divinity and doctorate in science and served as Dean of Students for Luther Seminary throughout your career. What are you doing now?
A. I retired in 2013 from Luther Seminary. Now I am a researcher and author — developing several projects that are close to my heart and provide a good easy flow of work and family.

Q. Speaking of family, how long have you and Sherry been married?
A. We've been married for 54 years and have 4 children and 9 grandchildren. All of our kids are in the U.S. — they live here in Minnesota and we have one in Ventura, California.

Q. As an alumnus, you have served your alma mater by providing insight and guidance as a member of the Board of Regents for 13 years. Why is this important to you?
A. Concordia has made significant contributions to three generations in our family. We experience first-hand the genius of a college that educates the whole person as our family faces the challenges of the 21st century. Sherry and I are delighted to support Concordia College in its mission of preparing young men and women to make a difference in their communities and the world.

Q. You have also been very supportive of the Concordia Annual Fund and most recently, you used the IRA Charitable Rollover to make a tax-free gift to Concordia. Thank you. Why is giving to Concordia a priority for you and Sherry?
A. Making an IRA gift to the science building was easy and a delightful way to say, "thank you" and give back to an institution that helped form and launch me, our daughter and our granddaughter.

Want to support Concordia College?

You too can make a difference at Concordia and leave a lasting impact on our students. To learn about the many different gift options available and to find the best gift for you, contact Trina Hall at (218) 299-3445 or

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Concordia College 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 Concordia College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Moorhead, MN, 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 Concordia College 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 Concordia College 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 Concordia College 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 Concordia College where you agree to make a gift to Concordia College 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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