A Culture of Service and Giving

Tony and Lesley Ryan

Tony and Lesley Ryan at the Celsus Library in the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey

Carole "Lesley" (Schuster) Ryan, a graduate of the Massachusetts General School of Nursing, earned her B.S. in nursing from Villa Maria College in 1976. She dedicated her career to helping others-becoming Erie's first enterostomal therapist, serving on the staff of five of Erie's hospitals and directing Medi-Center, a private health care company.

"During my career, I worked at every hospital and on every shift," Lesley says. "My goal was to provide compassionate and professional service to my patients."

Her husband, Tony Ryan, graduated from MIT with a degree in mechanical engineering. He co-founded Rent-Way, serving as president and chairman and is now chairman emeritus. Tony had leadership roles in some of Erie's biggest industrial companies, including Johnson Control, Skinner Engine Co., Automated Industrial Systems and Spectrum Control.

The Ryans now enjoy retirement in Naples, Florida, and visit Erie periodically. They believe that the many blessings they've enjoyed throughout the years are the result of their great educations. So, when it came time for the Ryans to establish their estate plan, including four full scholarships in the Villa Maria College of Nursing was at the top of their list.

"By including Gannon in our estate plan, we can have a significant impact on generations of nursing students," Tony says. Their daughter, Karen, earned her master's degree from Gannon, and their granddaughter, Madison Manchester, is a current undergraduate student.

"With this gift, we are excited to help bolster a culture of giving to Villa Maria College and Gannon University among alumni," Lesley says.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Gannon University 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania, a not-for-profit organization, organized and existing under the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, [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 Gannon 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 Gannon 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 Gannon 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 Gannon where you agree to make a gift to Gannon 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.

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