Dentist turns farmland into support for his alma mater

The future of the School of Dentistry will be significantly impacted by one alumnus, one gift and 109 acres of Freeborn County farmland. That alumnus is A. David Flor. 

Now in his mid-70s and eager to leave a meaningful legacy, Flor recently reached out to Emily Best, chief development officer for the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, to learn more about making a gift. 

“I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I reached out to Emily,” said Flor. “Nor was I intending on doing anything right then. I was more or less just thinking about how best to prepare for the end of my life, which I hope remains many, many years down the road.”

Best introduced Flor to Ben Webster, senior planned giving officer for the University of Minnesota Foundation, who suggested a retained life estate gift. “This option, which has become more popular in recent years, offers an immediate tax deduction, while still allowing the donor to own the land until his or her death,” said Webster. 

“That really appealed to me,” said Flor, who grew up in New Richland, a small town in south central Minnesota.

Dr. Flor and School of Dentistry Dean Keith Mays
Dr. Flor and School of Dentistry Dean Keith Mays

“I served as a dental officer in the US Navy, serving one year in the Vietnam War, then joined my father’s New Richland dental practice in 1972,” said Flor. He would later open his own dental practice in Wells, Minnesota, where he practiced for twenty years before opening another practice in Albert Lea, Minnesota. 

Along the way, Flor grew to love the farmers he cared for and the farmland that surrounded him. Beginning in the 1980s, as opportunities arose, he purchased what land he could and began renting it to local farmers.

The arrangement suits Flor well. 

“I get some current benefits, including revenue, and  take great comfort in knowing that when I die, the proceeds from the sale of the land, now valued at $980,000, will go to support the School of Dentistry in ways that are meaningful to me,” said Flor. “It’s a win-win-win: for me, for farmers and their families, and for the school and its students. Plus, I have the pleasure of waking up everyday knowing that my gift will continue to make a difference to others long after I’m gone.” 

The School of Dentistry is grateful for Flor’s generosity. “By making an unrestricted gift through real estate, Flor and donors like him enable us to fund significant future  initiatives,” reflected Dean Keith Mays, DDS, MS, PhD. “We are grateful to those who think of us not only in life, but as they plan for their legacy.” 

To learn more about gifting real estate to the School of Dentistry, please contact Chief Development Officer Emily Best at (612) 625-6811 or [email protected].