A Charitable Gift Honoring Stepdaughter

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson made a gift to Colorado State University in honor of his stepdaughter, Cara Neth.

Richard Thompson married into a Ram family in 1999 and has since become a strong supporter and friend of Colorado State University. He recently made the decision to create a legacy through a charitable gift annuity, which he made in honor of his stepdaughter, Cara Neth.

In 1969 while serving as pastor at the Southminster Presbyterian Church in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Richard and his family met and became close friends with Cecil and Jane Neth, along with their five children. Eventually, the Neth family moved to Fort Collins, Colorado, so that Cecil could begin teaching journalism in the College of Liberal Arts. "Meanwhile, I had moved to a pastorate in Austin, Texas. Following the deaths of our spouses in the early '90s, Jane and I were married. Living first in Austin, but then moving to Fort Collins in 2006".

Although Tony Frank is the president of Colorado State University and, for many, the face of Colorado's land-grant institution, Cara Neth is known as the voice of CSU. You may not know her name or recognize her face, but the words that define CSU very often come from Cara. Those who know her best will tell you that no one has more institutional knowledge.

Cara has worked in the Office of the President as director of administration communications since 2005, but her impact on CSU communications dates back to 1989 when she was hired by the public relations office as a speechwriter. Over the past 29 years, the Rams alumna (B.A., technical journalism, '87) has been a key confidante to several CSU presidents, helping create the messaging that has shaped the University over the past three decades.

Over the years, she has gone out of her way to support employee-friendly programs like the Volunteers in Poudre Schools leave program and monthly orientation sessions for new employees. She is a strong advocate for women on campus and a primary communications link between CSU and its alumni.

Richard notes "I have come to appreciate how much CSU means to the local community and beyond; both as a continuation of the land-grant heritage and as a leader in providing research and training in environmental sustainability. I was glad to direct a portion of my charitable gift annuity to the natural sciences. My helping underwrite the University as a whole comes from its excellence in the humanities as I have experienced it through heading up the area's Interfaith Council."

Charitable gift annuities are a simple way to give yourself a lifetime income, and support CSU in ways that are meaningful to you. For example, if you are 75 years old and contribute $100,000 in exchange for a charitable gift annuity, you would receive a 6.2 percent annuity for the remainder of your life — a portion of this annual annuity is tax free. Additionally, you would be eligible for a $45,693* tax deduction in the year you create the CGA.

With a CGA, the donor receives a lifetime income stream from the CSU Foundation, which will support the program or programs of their choosing after their death. Richard has chosen five programs to support through his CGA: College of Natural Sciences Strategic Initiative, Cecil B. Neth Scholarship Endowment, Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment, University Fund, and Morgan and University Libraries Endowment.

While not a graduate of this institution, Richard feels very much at one with its purpose and spirit. "I have a sense of completion in supporting CSU in this way, as I did earlier with my alma maters — Oberlin College and Yale Divinity School. In this way too, CSU helped me feel like I had 'come home' when moving to Fort Collins."

To learn more about CGAs, or other ways you can make gift for our future, contact the Office of Gift Planning at giftplanning@colostate.edu or (970) 491-3414.