Gift & Estate Planning
A Can-Do Attitude
Glenn Johnson Sheffield '54 has been a positive force in the St. Louis community for many years, and in many ways. The former Mayor of Webster Groves serves countless hours on volunteer boards, is an involved and invested citizen, and supports the arts and education in the St. Louis area. Burroughs holds a special place among the lucky group of organizations she supports. Several years ago, Glenn informed the school she had included JBS in her estate plans. "It's so much easier than people think it is," she says.
"Everyone has the idea that you have to be 'rich' to do this kind of thing, but that's absolutely not true—in fact, anyone can do it," says Glenn, a former member of the JBS Board of Trustees and 2001 Outstanding Alumna. She has designated a percentage of an individual retirement account for Burroughs, a popular choice for those seeking a simple way to include a favorite charity in their estate planning. "It gives you the flexibility to hold on to what you need throughout your lifetime, and the opportunity to give what you can later on."
"Everybody, from an early age, needs to plan what they want to do with their assets and with their estate," says Glenn. "If Burroughs is important to you, this is a way you can help ensure that the school keeps doing the good work it does well into the future. Our kids, (John '79, Ellen '83 and Jamie '85) came to Burroughs and now our grandchildren are JBS students."
Memories of her first day on the Burroughs campus remain crystal clear. "I took the entrance test in the dining room," she recalls. "I can still see myself there, like it was yesterday." She remembers with fondness the '49ers' — the class of seniors who graduated the spring of her first year at JBS. "That whole class was remarkable — real standouts."
Thinking back to her teachers at JBS, Glenn fondly remembers Ralph Weinrich, among others. "I loved to sing, and he actually let me!" she laughs. "He didn't let everyone sing all the time in the glee club. He'd call out to someone saying, 'You, don't sing!'" A highlight for Glenn's singing career at JBS was her performance as Meg Brockie in Brigadoon her senior year. "It was so much fun! People would stop me and say, 'Oh, you're the girl from the show!'"
Though she understates her contributions, Glenn has left her mark on dozens of organizations and activities — everything from zoning codes to mental health to opera. She immersed herself in service activities after her children entered school. In 1972, she joined the Board of Directors of The Repertory Theatre. Given the job of overseeing the conversion of the Brown House into an after-theater club, she learned about for the first time about the various city codes. The next thing she knew, she was on the Webster Groves City Plan Commission. From there she went on to serve on the City Council and was elected as mayor of the city in 1986, serving for eight years. She served on the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Sewer District from 1994 to 2000 and dubbed herself "Queen of the Sewers."
Despite the demands of the public sector, Glenn has always maintained her loyalty to favorite not-for-profit organizations. She is a former trustee and former president of the alumni association for her alma mater, Smith College. In addition to long-time service as a board member of The Repertory Theatre, Glenn has been involved with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis since its beginning 40 years ago and has served as a member of the board since 1981. Additionally, she has recently joined the boards of Ballet Saint Louis, the Webster Community Arts Foundation and Project, Inc., a sheltered workshop for adults with developmental disabilities. "I enjoy what I do. I believe that work is an important part of life. I haven't done much work for money, but I've truly enjoyed everything I've been involved in. Obviously, I still can't resist it!"
How to Make a Difference
Giving back to the organizations that mean the most to you and your loved ones is easier than you think.
When you are planning your estate, consider a beneficiary designation, like Glenn's gift. A legacy gift benefitting Burroughs will allow you to make a real difference for JBS students after your lifetime.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.