Chapman University’s George L. Argyros College of Business and Economics is on an upward trajectory toward the nation’s top 50 business schools, having risen more than 25 places in the rankings over five years. Fueling this ascent is the generosity of legacy donor Jane Clark, a seasoned international business professional whose philanthropic investment is poised to leave an indelible mark on the institution.
Having traversed the globe during her extensive career, Ms. Clark designated the business school and study abroad programs as beneficiaries of her individual retirement account (IRA).
“I feel it’s important that young adults broaden their horizons and see how people live and think,” Ms. Clark emphasized. “Business and finance make the world go round. You have to understand it and understand what goes on in other countries and cultures.”
While her generous estate plan already includes a gift of the remainder of her IRA to Chapman after her lifetime, this year, Ms. Clark added $30,000 directly from her IRA to the Jane E. Clark Endowment for Business Student Opportunities, which will support students’ learning experiences within Argyros College.
Because she is over the age of 73, she can fulfill her required minimum distribution (RMD) without recognizing the income, thus saving on income taxes and potentially reducing her Medicare expenses. The Jane E. Clark Endowment helps students with non-tuition-related expenses such as travel, conference and research expenses, internships, and other educational opportunities.
“Jane has been a steadfast supporter of Chapman for many years,” said Gabe Cagwin, vice president of development. “Seeing how she has created additional learning opportunities that enhance our students’ education and drive career success is inspiring.”
In addition to supporting Argyros College, Ms. Clark also uses her IRA to support the Chapman Fund and study abroad opportunities, and she has named a faculty office within the Keck Center for Science and Engineering. Each of these qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from her IRA has meant that she could avoid taxes while supporting the university’s mission.
David Moore (MA ’09), assistant vice president for legacy planning, spoke of Ms. Clark’s broad interests in business, engineering and science. “Jane loves to see what generates and moves forward the economy,” he remarked. “Last month, she joined me for a tour of The Brain Institute at Chapman’s Rinker Health Sciences Campus in Irvine. Jane has a curious mind and a strong sense of business.”
Ms. Clark’s unwavering belief in the transformative power of education is rooted in her journey. Rising from humble beginnings, she navigated through community college to a four-year institution, acquiring degrees. As a certified public accountant, she occupied various roles in business and finance, overseeing foreign accounts that necessitated frequent international travel.
“I want students to think about what happens in the world in business, accounting and finance, and how the world banks operate,” she explained. “I am a big advocate for classroom experience, but also practical experience — seeing things in reality.”
Beyond her financial contributions, Ms. Clark remains an engaged member of the Chapman community, attending events such as the renowned Economic Forecast and participating in activities organized by the Office of Legacy Planning for members of the Charles C. Chapman Legacy Society, the recognition group for those caring individuals who have included Chapman University in their estate plans.
“Chapman has done a great job in moving forward and expanding with more colleges and opportunities,” Ms. Clark concluded. “I hope to inspire people to start giving, even if they haven’t attended Chapman.”