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The Power of a Student Scholarship

Janice Schneider Lahr '60

Janice Schneider Lahr '60 traces the root of her success to a quality Catholic education and a scholarship recommendation by the Dominican Sisters.

Growing up in Garden Oaks, Houston, in the 1950s and '60s, Janice Schneider Lahr '60 cherished the dream of a Catholic college education. Catholic education was a priority for the Schneider family, and college was an expectation. Janice's parents sacrificed to afford Catholic education for their four children, and her grandfather purchased saving bonds for Janice from the time of her birth. But even with Janice working part-time from the age of 13, the family's accumulated funds could not stretch to cover a private college education.

As graduation neared, Janice found that her and her family's dream would be realized. Always a high performing student in the language arts, Janice was nominated for a Mary Gibbs Jones Scholarship by the Dominican Sisters at St. Pius X High School.

"If it hadn't been for St. Pius X, I would never have been able to go college," Janice says. "I entered Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, and studied apparel arts, design and merchandising, with a minor in nutrition. After two years, I transferred to the University of Houston, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree. That scholarship was so generous that I had funds left over when I graduated!"

Graduating cum laude, she was the first college graduate in her family.

From U of H, Janice went on to a career in retail. Over the years, Janice worked in management for prestigious Houston retailers Foley's, Sakowitz and Joske's, among others. She also enjoyed a parallel career teaching fashion merchandising and retailing at the college and secondary school levels.

Eventually, collaborating with a friend, she started an import business with a showroom in the Dallas market. A wholesale/catalog business, Janice ultimately expanded to global sales. Now retired from business, Janice enjoys an active life of tennis and strength training, Bible study, cooking, and entertaining. She has been a member of the Beta Sigma Phi International Service sorority for 48 years.

Several years ago, when changes in her life required a review of her estate plan, Janice decided it was time to repay SPX for the life-changing gift it gave her. Giving has always been an important part of Janice's life. She chose to bequeath her individual retirement account to the SPX Foundation, which manages the school's endowment. With that decision, Janice ensured that future generations of students will receive the academic foundations that contributed so much to her personal success.

"We can all give back in our own way," she says. "My favorite quote is, ‘If the only prayer you ever say is Thank You, it is enough.' Thank you to the long ago sisters who picked me!"

Brighten the Future of a St. Pius X Student
Join with other friends and alumni like Janice and help support current and future SPX students with a gift in your estate plans. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your options, please contact Monica E. Clem at 713.579.7500 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to St. Pius X High School 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, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to the St. Pius X High School Foundation [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [stated purpose]."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

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

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SPX or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

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 SPX 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 SPX as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SPX where you agree to make a gift to SPX and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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