By Chandra Harris-McCray
Magan Wiles knows her stage would not be as grand without Dr. Stuart Riggsby.
The generous gifts of Stuart, the former dean of the UT College of Arts and Sciences, affords Magan the rare opportunity to hone her craft and work alongside stellar faculty and seasoned performers in the national-caliber Clarence Brown Theatre.
The St. Louis, Mo., actress wanted to not only act, but teach from the stage. And UT's master's acting program is fulfilling her dreams. As one of just 17 universities with its own professional theater associated with the League of Resident Theatres, "moments are created at UT that actors across the globe covet and clamor over."
Renaissance aficionados feel the same way about UT's Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. The institute is another distinguished program that would not be what it is today without Stuart's foresight and generosity. He created endowments to support a directorship, lecture series and graduate Latin instruction-an indispensable tool of the professional medievalist's trade.
"Stuart took one of the Latin classes and loved it," says Heather Hirschfeld, who serves as the Riggsby Director of the Marco Institute. "And his love continues to endure.
"Marco has a rich foundation of supporting humanities education and research across eight departments and two colleges at UT," she says. "We touch many parts of the university."
Stuart's efforts ensure that Marco can continue to build upon its national recognition of being the center for excellence for medieval and renaissance studies in the Southeast.
"Not everyone can do what the Marco Institute and the theater programs are doing," Stuart Says. "These programs set UT apart from the rest and are truly unique."
"Appreciation for the Humanistic Side of Learning"
Since he was a young boy, Stuart stood out in the crowd for being immersed in both science and the arts.
"He is such a rarity for a scientist. He shows a delightful appreciation for the humanistic side of learning," said Michael Kulikowski, former director of the Marco Institute, who is now a professor and department head of history at Penn State.
In elementary school, Stuart fell in love with music like The Nutcracker Suite, "and I was good at science," Stuart says. By high school, he was studying Latin. He even considered majoring in classics when he went off to George Washington University, but he decided to study something that "would earn me a good living-engineering."
He eventually turned back to the sciences and graduated with a physics degree.
He earned his Ph.D. in molecular biology and biophysics from Yale University in 1964. After stints at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Stuart joined UT in 1969 as an assistant professor of microbiology. Before being appointed the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he served as associate dean of the college, and prior to that he was the associate head of the college's department of microbiology.
No matter what he has done in his career, Stuart says: "I still have memories of cultural events and performances from more than 50 years ago that have stuck with me. I remember going to see my first play-Inherit the Wind-on Broadway and what that was like."
Kulikowski said Stuart, "has a deep intellectual and aesthetic commitment to understanding the world of the past."
"To His Bones He Is an Educator"
Intrigued and inspired by seeing the beauty and exploring the history of Italy and Spain with his wife, Kate, and their son, Andrew, who is a professor of classics at the University Texas at Austin, Stuart says he simply cannot get enough. On his nightstand is a book about Spanish medieval history, "and I do not want to put it down."
"To his bones he is an educator. He gets it and he understands why it matters," says Jed Diamond, UT associate professor and head of acting in the department of theater.
"Most of what I have comes from my days of working at UT," Stuart says. "And now it's time to give back and help make the good great."
How to Leave Your Mark at UT
Leaving a gift to UT in your will is a smart and simple way to contribute to the future of UT without affecting your income today. Learn more by clicking here.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
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.