Skip to Content

Investing in Little Learners

Finkelstein Makes a Lasting Impact for Early Childhood Education

Dr. Judy Finkelstein

Dr. Judy Finkelstein, left, and Dr. Beth Van Meeteren, director of the Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education, explore the renovated Integrative Classroom Studio.

Dr. Judy Finkelstein is a champion for public education—preschool through university. The emeritus faculty member’s career in early childhood education spanned 50 years, and retirement hasn’t stopped her. Judy remains involved with the College of Education and the Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education.

“I want to be active in all the things I was involved in throughout my career,” Judy says. “It made sense for me to keep participating after I retired.”

Judy represented UNI on the statewide taskforce created by Gov. Terry Branstad in 1985 to write more developmentally appropriate guidelines for programs for four-year-old and kindergarten public school programs. The taskforce led to the creation of the Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education. Housed in the Schindler Education Center at UNI, the Regents’ Center works collaboratively with groups across the state to enhance the teaching and learning process for young children.

Judy stays in contact with current Regents’ Center Director Dr. Beth Van Meeteren, whose work emphasizes STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in early learning classrooms. Judy hopes her gifts will invigorate the work of the center and the College of Education.

“There is potential the Integrative Classroom Studio located in the Regents’ Center will be used in ways we haven’t even thought of for students across campus, on other campuses, and by teachers and school districts around the state and nation,” Judy says.

In addition to supporting the Regents’ Center, Judy and her late husband, Dr. Melville Finkelstein, have supported other programs across campus and included UNI in their estate plan.

Judy loves to help solve problems. Her optimism and enthusiasm keep her energized. “You really can make a difference if you are passionate about something,” she says.

Create Your Panther Legacy

There are many ways to make a lasting impact for our students and programs. Contact Steve Gearhart at 319-273-5968 or steve.gearhart@uni.edu to discuss ways you can create your own legacy at UNI.

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 the University of Northern Iowa Foundation 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP],
give, devise and bequeath to the University of Northern Iowa Foundation, an
Iowa nonprofit corporation of Cedar Falls, Iowa, [written amount or percentage
of the estate or description of property] to be used for such purposes as the
Board of Trustees may determine."

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 the UNI Foundation 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 the UNI Foundation 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 the UNI Foundation 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 the UNI Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the UNI Foundation 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.