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A Devoted McKendree Couple

A Devoted McKendree Couple
Charles Murray and Babs Anne Bowe

Charles Murray is not an alum of McKendree, but he has great affinity and dedication to the University for which he has been connected for more than 60 years. It was through McKendree that he met the love of his life and that forever changed his relationship with the institution.

Babs Anne Bowe was a popular student when she attended McKendree. She was consistently on the Dean's List, a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the national literary honor society, the Secretary-Treasurer of her Senior Class, and she was selected as the 1958 May Queen. However, it was because of her skilled dancing that she and Charles met.

Charles was an airman stationed at Scott Air Force Base when Babs and her dance troupe entertained at the base. They met, fell in love, and married. Following her graduation in 1958, Babs spent ten years teaching speech and English at East St. Louis High School and then taught nearly a decade at the American Institute of Banking in St. Louis while remaining active in Delta Kappa Gamma, an honor society for teaching professionals. Charles went on to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis and he began his career in banking at Mercantile Bank in St. Louis. He spent 18 years at the bank before being promoted to a position in international banking in Houston where he and Babs traveled the world.

Unfortunately, in 1985 Babs passed away. It was through the benefit of a life insurance policy Babs had through her company that Charles established the endowed scholarship in her memory. He wanted to ensure that other students had the opportunity to receive a college education. In Babs' memory, Charles established the Babs Anne Bowe Murray Endowed Scholarship for undergraduate students studying Speech or English.

A few years following the passing of Babs, Charles decided to take an early retirement so he could pursue his passion for assisting with the annual United Way Campaign in Houston, while still being able to travel internationally. In addition to this, he wanted to explore the United States as he continued his goal of visiting all of the National Parks, along with numerous State Parks and famous Revolutionary War and Civil War historic sites.

With his professional background in banking and finance, Charles decided to incorporate the planned giving tool of the charitable gift annuity into his income stream. The charitable gift annuity (CGA) provides a guaranteed income payment for life, with part of the income tax free (based on the person's age and life expectancy). During the year the CGA is established, the donor is also provided a one-time charitable deduction for a portion of the donation.

Charles established his first CGA with McKendree in 1995. He was pleased with the supplemental income it provided, along with the tax deduction. This additional funding provided the cushion he needed to continue his ability to travel both internationally and domestically while knowing that the endowed scholarship he established in his wife's name would be able to assist future students at McKendree. Charles was so pleased, in fact, that over the next 25 years he established additional gift annuities. "I appreciate the simplicity of this planned giving tool," he said, "and it will have a very valuable impact to McKendree in the future."