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Alum and Former NASA Computer Programmer Wants Others to Have Opportunities She Had

Alum and Former NASA Computer Programmer Wants Others to Have Opportunities She Had

When Betty Wilson Key (Math, '67) graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, NASA, the place she went on to work, wasn't known especially as a place for women.

In fact, in a department with 40 men, Key began as the only woman. In an exciting time at the space agency, she contributed to the team during the formative years when both the first lunar landing and the dramatic Apollo 13 mission took place.

Key has long been a part of exciting movements from the beginning. As one of only a few women mathematics majors at UT, she distinguished herself and stood tall, a trait that opened doors for her early career with IBM at NASA.

Now Key is on the cusp of another exciting national movement: she and her husband Jim have joined thousands of Americans taking advantage of the IRA Transfer Act, an offering under federal tax law since 2006 that Congress recently made permanent. For the Keys, making an IRA transfer has been a great (and easy!) way to make a gift to UT's College of Natural Sciences while also reducing their tax burden.

The law allows people who are 70½—when they must take minimum distributions from their IRA—to transfer up to $100,000 annually to a charity (or charities) of their choice. No income tax needs to be paid on the distribution of these charitable transfers.

The Keys made their first IRA transfer last year to establish an endowment in the College of Natural Sciences, and they plan to continue to take advantage of this opportunity.

"It's important to give back. My education afforded me job opportunities and created a lifelong interest in learning," she says. "I hope our investment helps a student follow her or his passion and get an education that they might not otherwise be able to."

The IRA charitable transfer provision, established under the Pension Protection Act, has allowed alumni and friends to donate more than $17 million from their IRAs to support the University so far. Many of these gifts have come to the College of Natural Sciences to support work to advance the next generation of scientific leaders and promote discoveries that will change the world.

Alumni and friends who give in this way support an excellent cause, while avoiding having to pay income tax on a distribution from their IRA that is otherwise mandatory.

For more information about the IRA Charitable Transfer, click here

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Saturday, 14 December 2019

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