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Planned Giving



  • Please contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving at 202-885-3411 or

  • Office of Development and Alumni Relations
    4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20016


Mailing Address

A Bright Future Starts at AU

Royelen Lee Boykie, SPA/BS '80

Royelen Lee Boykie When Royelen Lee Boykie toured American University's campus during her senior year of high school, she found AU inviting and, given its close proximity to the heart of government, exactly where she wanted to spend her college years. A New Jersey native, Boykie chose to live on Letts Hall's "International Floor," so she could meet people from all over the world. In Letts Hall, Boykie met her best friends, and they have been celebrating New Year's together since the early 1980s.

Boykie immersed herself in her political science studies in and outside the classroom by attending rallies, meeting political candidates, and working on campus in the School of Public Affairs' Department of Justice, Law & Criminology. While a student at AU, she also had paid internships with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.

Boykie went on to work for several government-related entities as well as AOL, where she developed online communities well before the advent of social media. Now a digital strategist at Food & Water Watch in Washington, D.C., she attributes her professional success to her early AU experiences.

"I felt incredibly prepared to work after graduating from AU. My internships matched with my AU degree made an enormous difference to potential employers," says Boykie.

In appreciation of her AU education, Boykie named the university as a  beneficiary of her retirement plan, sharing: "I wouldn't have been able to attend AU without the financial aid I received, and now I'm able to give back."

Her gift will support scholarships for future generations of AU students who wish to devote their lives to public service or to pursue a degree in the fine arts. Also, to honor two places particularly dear to her, Boykie intends for her scholarship to support AU students hailing from Washington, D.C., and Hawaii.

Invest in Tomorrow's Leaders
Donor-funded scholarships like Boykie's help deserving students pursue an outstanding AU education. You can make a difference for the next generation of AU Eagles with a gift through your estate plan. Contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving, at 202-885-3411 or to learn how you can make a difference.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to American 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 give to American University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016, 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 AU 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 AU 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 AU 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 AU where you agree to make a gift to AU 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

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.