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Dr. Helen Moorehead Remembers UT Health Science Center

Dr. Helen Moorehead

By Chandra Harris-McCray

A phone call made the difference between Dr. Helen C. Moorehead attending graduate school at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis rather than at Vanderbilt University.

Dr. John L. Wood, who was chairman of the biochemistry department at the time, called and encouraged Helen to earn her Ph.D. in the College of Medical Science, now the College of Graduate Health Sciences. Helen, who had graduated from the National Taiwan University and East Tennessee State University, packed her bags and traveled to Memphis in 1959.

"Dr. Wood and my major professor, Dr. Martin Minthorn, offered such patience and kindness while working with me to ensure I received the best education I could. They reached out to me," Helen says.

Helen has created a charitable remainder trust as a way to connect and give back to the Memphis campus while honoring Wood and Minthorn, both deceased. Helen has established the trust to be used for travel awards for students studying biomedical sciences. Her desire is for students to receive the same, if not better, learning and educational opportunities that she received.

"I fondly remember the conferences and seminars I attended and how they offered me such a wealth of knowledge during my studies," says Helen, who graduated with a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1963.

Having grown up in China, Helen says, her interest in chemistry took shape early on.

"My father was a physician; my uncle studied microbiology and chemistry; so I naturally loved and gravitated toward studying science," she says.

Helen became a researcher and scientist in pediatrics and later retired from Indiana University Medical Center. Helen and her husband, Dr. Wells Moorehead, whom she met while in graduate school in Memphis, moved to Austin, Texas, in 2003 to be closer to their daughter and two grandsons.

"I never have forgotten all that was given to me during my years in Memphis," Helen says. "It was time for me to give back to the community which gave so much to me. I will forever feel indebted to the whole department— especially to Dr. Lorraine Kraus— all of whom treated me like family."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University Of Tennessee 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 The University Of Tennessee [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 UT 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 UT as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 UT 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 UT where you agree to make a gift to UT 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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