Brizendines Create Their Own Mizzou Legacy: Investing in Tomorrow's Leaders

BrizendinesLeadership has been a passion for Lyle Brizendine since his days as student body president at Lee's Summit High School. It continues in his current executive leadership role for Bank of America in St. Louis.

Throughout his career in banking, a career that began soon after he completed law school in Kansas City (Brizendine is finishing work toward an advanced law degree from Washington University in St. Louis), Brizendine, BS BA '74 has had significant management responsibilities and often mentored young business leaders. "I thoroughly enjoy mentoring," he said, adding that being a mentor to future leaders is what he loves most about his work.

Brizendine has found a way to combine his passion for mentoring tomorrow's leaders with his passion for his first alma mater. Always an active alumnus, Brizendine has served in several advisory roles at the MU College of Business, most recently on the College's Management Advisory Board. He recognizes that the College of Business plays a vital role in shaping the business leaders of tomorrow. "It is critical for the future of not only the University of Missouri, but the state of Missouri and our country, to have as many talented, bright, motivated young leaders as we possibly can," Brizendine said, "and to provide them the tools to be successful."

It is no surprise then that Brizendine's legacy is about leadership.

Mizzou All the Way
Brizendine never thought of going any place other than MU. He said, "I didn't apply to any other schools. Not only did I get a good education at the Business School, but I also think that it helped me to mature and broaden my horizons in ways that have been very important to me throughout my professional career. I wish every young person in Missouri could have that experience."

Brizendine said he met his wife of 30 years, the former Charlene J. Smith, BS Ed '73, while in school. Brizendine said, "We both feel that we owe a lot to the University and enjoyed our experience there; we have been very fortunate during our lives, and we think we owe a lot of that good fortune to having had the opportunity of coming to the University of Missouri."

Creating a Mizzou Legacy
Appropriately, when MU announced it would issue charitable gift annuities, Brizendine became determined to be the first to take out an MU deferred charitable gift annuity. The way Brizendine sees it, a deferred gift annuity is a great supplement to a donor's retirement plan. With a deferred gift annuity the donor receives an immediate tax deduction, the payments are deferred and the gift is invested to provide a greater payout when payments start in retirement. Eventually the University will receive a significant gift.

"We thought that the deferred gift annuity vehicle would be a wonderful way to do some retirement planning," Brizendine said, "but at the same time support the College of Business with a scholarship program that we started."

Still in his early 50s and at the peak of his career, Brizendine and his wife are too young to retire but already are well on their way to establishing their own Mizzou legacy. Their gift will benefit the Leadership Scholarship Fund they set up in the MU College of Business. In addition to the deferred gift annuity, the Brizendines have included MU in a bequest through their estate plans.

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