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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

Scholarship Inspires Excellence

Aaron Torop

Aaron Torop, SPA/BA '18
Estelle Seldowitz Endowed Scholarship Recipient

American University friend and neighbor Estelle Seldowitz recognized the significant role AU programming played in her life by including the university in her estate plan. Her benevolence now guarantees support for AU students of Jewish Studies. Aaron Torop, SPA '18, a dual student of Jewish Studies and Political Science, is a grateful recipient.

Torop arrived on AU's campus from Largo, Florida two years ago and has already made a lasting mark on the university. In the role of AU Student Government's Director of Academic Affairs, he was involved in several significant activities, such as crafting a revised Academic Grievance Policy and serving on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and search committee for the Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies.

In addition, Torop is an AU Honors student, SPA Leadership Program participant, and Teaching Assistant, which provides meaningful interaction with professors and fellow students alike.

AU's Jewish Studies program has been a highlight for Torop: "I have been encouraged to chart my own individual course of study in the major by the outstanding faculty and scholars in residence. The diversity of courses allows me to take the ones I find most interesting and pursue my passions."

A leader both on and off campus, Torop was an American Jewish Committee Goldman Fellow in Melbourne, Australia this past summer.

"The Seldowitz Scholarship has made my AU education more affordable and provided me the flexibility to accept an unpaid internship that offers real world experience and has fueled my interest in politics," says Torop.

"I am grateful to the AU friend who created this scholarship and to the university for investing in my success and believing in me."

Make an Investment in Future Leaders
You can follow in Estelle Seldowitz's footsteps and provide educational opportunities and real world experience for students like Aaron Torop. Contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving, at or 202-885-3411 today to explore your options.

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.