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Planning Ahead

Whitehead’s gift will support generations of student-athletes

By Bill Dabney

Greg Whitehead and Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze src=

University of Mississippi alumnus Greg Whitehead (left, with Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze) has established an endowment that will provide ongoing scholarships to Ole Miss student-athletes.

The Tampa Bay Ole Miss Club was fairly inactive when University of Mississippi alumnus Greg Whitehead became president two years ago. Today, with 121 active Alumni Association members, the club is thriving.

"The Ole Miss Alumni Association has had a club in the Tampa Bay area for several years, but it has taken off over the past two years," says Port Kaigler, assistant director of Alumni Affairs. "We knew we needed to increase our presence in the Tampa Bay area and we have started to, thanks to Greg's leadership and the work of his board (alumni Frenchie Barron, Jessica Gillum, Elizabeth McConnell, Erin and Ryan Pew, and Hayden Sutherland)."

The owner of a Tampa-based sales and marketing company in the wholesale home furnishings industry, Greg likes to have a hand in improvement whenever possible. He knew he could help make the alumni club better, just as he constantly strives to enhance his own life by staying in shape and by expanding his knowledge through books, music and travel.

Now, he hopes to help improve athletics and ultimately academics at Ole Miss.   

Greg has generously agreed to donate a portion of his estate to establish an endowment that will provide ongoing scholarships to Ole Miss student-athletes. This planned gift awards Greg membership in the 1848 Society, named for the year the university welcomed its first students. The society recognizes generous donors who thoughtfully provide for the university through planned and deferred gifts.

"I want to give back to my school that I love," says Greg, a Zion, Illinois native, who moved to Mississippi with his family during high school. Greg played baseball for Itawamba Junior College for two years before transferring to Ole Miss, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration.

"I fell in love with Ole Miss. It has a special quality that can't be put into words, something spiritual or even mystical. In addition to being the most beautiful campus in the country, it has a charm that can't be quantified. It's a place that keeps calling you back. Ole Miss is my family, so I've earmarked this amount for athletics because I believe a strong athletics department helps esprit de corps and reputation, which in turn help to increase enrollment, improve academics and foster growth and achievement in many areas." 

Keith Carter, senior associate athletics director for development and executive director of the Ole Miss Athletics Foundation, said Greg's gift sets an example he hopes others will follow.

"Many people feel the need to give to Ole Miss Athletics in the present and we are very grateful for those gifts, but it's also important to know that a planned gift for athletics is another viable way to provide support," Keith says. "Generations of our student-athletes will receive the return on this particular investment. Greg should feel very proud of that."

For information on including the University of Mississippi in long-term estate and financial plans, alumni and friends can visit or contact Sandra Guest at 662-915-5208 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 the University of Mississippi 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the University of Mississippi Foundation [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 Ole Miss 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 its 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 Ole Miss 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 Ole Miss 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 Ole Miss where you agree to make a gift to Ole Miss 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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