Smart Giving: Accessible to Everyone

Esther Mayfield is a pragmatic philanthropist. For her, trusts and annuities make so much sense that she'll take you under her wing immediately as a potential convert. And if you ask her, what if I'm not a wealthy person? "Annuities make sense for everybody," she insists. "Really, I think people should begin setting them up when they're in their 50s as a key part of their retirement planning."

Planning is critical for a research scientist, as well as for an estate. The goal is to benefit her charities as she preserves her lifetime income. Clearly a thorough person, she holds a bachelor of science degree in physics, a master's degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University and a PhD in engineering from California Western University. She also is a registered professional engineer in control systems in the state of California, and she has taught electronics on the college level.

Thoughtful, thorough planning is also why she has chosen UC San Diego as the beneficiary of several of her gifts, including gift annuities established with life insurance, stock, cash and real estate.

"I have other charities that I am fond of, but within UC San Diego, you can contribute to everything, from energy to cancer to research in medicine. Also, I like the fact that the university is flexible and stable," she says.

She points to the importance of setting up an annuity with an institution that has the long-term capability to fulfill a donor's vision. "You have to look at an organization in terms of where it will be 20 or so years from now, when your gift matures," she says.

Esther has chosen to give to the university's unrestricted fund, to be used at the then-Chancellor's discretion.

Esther Mayfield is worth listening to. Among her accomplishments, she has been a technology advisor to the U.S. Congress, contributed to the design and development of Global Positioning Systems and has patented her work in microwave technology, where her inventions have been cited worldwide by major corporations, including General Motors, Oracle Corp. and the Harris Corp., to name a few.

In addition to UC San Diego, she actively supports the San Diego Zoological Society and has served on the Asian Arts Council as Education Chairperson at the San Diego Museum of Art. She also has served on the board of directors for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and has participated and is published with IEEE technical conferences on energy, radio frequency standards and pension reform.

Finally, Esther is a savvy philanthropist: "UC San Diego has good interest rates and provides excellent assistance with their gift giving planning department!"

Make a Smart Decision to Support UC San Diego

Like Esther Mayfield, you can make a tax-wise gift to UC San Diego that provides you with benefits in return. Contact us at (858) 534-2249 or, or visit our gift planning website to learn about the variety of ways you can make a gift.

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