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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 Passion for Public Service

Mariam Khorenyan, SPA '18

Mariam Khorenyan, SPA '18

Right from the start, Mariam Khorenyan, SPA '18, found ways to extend her American University education beyond the classroom. A student in the School of Public Affairs' Department of Justice, Law, and Criminology (JLC), Khorenyan holds a federal work-study job in JLC where she has appreciated the unique opportunity to develop relationships with her professors while providing administrative support for the department. In addition, she serves as the President of AU's Consulting Club and volunteers with the International Accelerator Student Orientation.

Through her classes and campus involvement, Khorenyan has solidified her passion for a career of public service. She has completed several prestigious internships in the public service and government sectors, including at the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Public Defender Service, and Executive Office of the President. Khorenyan is thankful to AU for these experiences and for encouraging her to discover her life's passions. "I've really become my own person at AU and appreciate the support I've received from the AU community along the way."

Khorenyan is always eager to share how meaningful her AU education has been to her. As an AU Ambassador and hometown recruiter, she gives weekly campus tours to prospective students and shares her pride in the university with high school students she encounters while she is home for winter break in the Los Angeles area. "I want to do my best to represent AU. Every time I get an opportunity to talk to prospective students and to tell them how incredible this university is, I do."

Khorenyan is the recipient of the Paul Howard Clarke, Paul Ager Clarke and Isabella Ager Clarke Endowed Scholarship in SPA. The Clarke Endowed Scholarship was established by Isabella Clarke, through a gift in her will, in the memory of her husband, Paul H. Clarke, and her son Paul A. Clarke, the latter of whom attended AU. The Clarke family had been involved in the public service arena for many years, inspiring Mrs. Clarke to create this endowment. Khorenyan has also received the Lois and George Schaefer Scholarship and the Judith K. Meritz and Lawrence A. Muenz Scholarship at AU.

Khorenyan explains that it has been the generosity of AU alumni and friends like the Clarkes that has allowed her to afford an AU education that will prepare her for a life of public service. "The scholarships I've been awarded have been a very big part of keeping me in school and have given me financial peace of mind. AU's investment in me reinforces my decision to come here to pursue my studies. I could not be more thankful for all the experiences and opportunities from my time at AU."

Invest in Your AU Passion

You can give a gift that helps bright and ambitious students like Mariam attend AU. Contact Seth Speyer, Executive Director of Planned Giving at or 202-885-3411 to learn about the many ways you can support AU's students and programs.

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.