Estate and Gift Planning Corner

Beth Cole, a third-year PhD student A decade ago, UM Foundation Trustee and Skaggs School of Pharmacy alum Leon Washut established a fund for graduate students in biomedical sciences. He and his wife, Hazel, wanted to support the school’s high-quality research and ensure discoveries in the lab would have real-world benefits. With their support, three students have or are completing advanced degrees at UM.

Both Kasse Skagen and Matthew Ferguson graduated from Western Washington University before pursuing graduate school at UM. Thanks to her graduate stipend, Skagen was able to begin her lab rotations early, helping her learn new techniques and get started on her own unique research. Ferguson, who focused on toxicology, now works to protect the health of our armed service members as a hygiene program manager for the U.S. Army.

Beth Cole, who attended Florida Atlantic University, is a third-year PhD student in UM’s toxicology graduate program, where her research focuses on the effects of toxic substance exposure on children and babies in utero. Having seen the impact of their giving on UM students, the Washuts decided to make a permanent difference. This spring, they funded a charitable gift annuity. “We used the charitable annuity to enhance our support of the University’s students and research,” said Leon Washut.

Charitable Gift Annuities:

Current market conditions and historically low interest rates make now an ideal time to fund a charitable gift annuity with the University of Montana Foundation.


Planned Giving Graphic

  • Fixed payments for life
  • Income tax charitable deduction
  • Potential Montana Endowment Tax Credit
  • Support UM!

Contact Alison Schultz to learn more!
Alison Schultz
Associate Director, Gift Planning
406.243.5121 or

The Office of Gift Planning provides information about the benefits of planned gifts and does not provide any legal, financial or tax advice. We encourage you to talk with your advisors who are familiar with your specific situation to determine the benefits to you.