Isidore Myers '39 Funds Scholarships Through Generous Bequest

Isidore C. Myers was known as an astute businessman, but during his lifetime the University of Akron graduate, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1939, also garnered a reputation for philanthropy, which he generously extended to his alma mater.

Born to Polish immigrants who moved from New York City to Akron in 1919, Myers started working at age 6, selling newspapers on a street corner, and was the youngest and last of three brothers to found Myers Tire Supply Company in the 1930s. Originally a tire repair and retreading shop, the business eventually was renamed Myers Industries to better reflect its increasing business diversity and today is a publicly traded company — still based in Akron — with annual sales exceeding $700 million.

Among Myers' many contributions to the company was establishing in the 1940s the business unit known as Akro-Mils, which manufactured plastic storage products. It continues to be among the organization's most profitable divisions.

In 1971, Myers was executive vice president, secretary, and a director of the company but sold his interest in the business two years later and moved his family to Southern California to begin a career in industrial real estate. In a company statement at the time of his move, Myers said, "I believe there are unlimited opportunities to improve the quality of life and also serve yourself through business geared to the basic needs of people, like better housing, products to improve the environment, and products to make life more rewarding."

By the 1990s, Myers and his wife, Penny, who were married for 56 years before her death in 2003, began to focus on "giving back." Together they established the ICM-PWM Foundation to benefit numerous philanthropic, educational, religious, medical, and social welfare organizations.

The couple's largesse included The University of Akron, where they had made gifts since 1952. In 1996, they established The Isidore C. and Penny W. Myers Endowment Fund, which was funded through a generous bequest following Myers' passing on May 20, 2013, in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 96.

The endowment was created to provide annual scholarship assistance for employees of Myers Industries or their children who are enrolled at The University of Akron and studying in the College of Business Administration.

"A person must strive to leave this world a better place than when they entered," said Myers at the time he and his wife established the scholarship fund. "The education I attained at The University of Akron was crucial to the success I achieved in my business career and in my life in general. It is time to repay The University of Akron, my mentors, and benefactors. Penny and I are delighted to help others become college-educated so they, too, can be the best they can be."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University of Akron 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

"I give to The University of Akron Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 302 Buchtel Common, Akron, OH 44325-2603, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

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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

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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 UA 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 UA Foundation as a lump sum.

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