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50th Reunion Gift Profile: Steven Weiss '64

Linda and Steven J. Weiss

Linda and Steven J. Weiss '64 have invested in the future of Bowdoin in numerous ways.

There was much that I loved about Bowdoin—my favorite professors: Geoghegan, Shipman, Darling and Storer; my wonderful classmates; the rigor of the academic preparation; and the emphasis on the Common Good, which helped instill in me a real passion for social justice.

While I've always tried to support the causes and places I care about, since retirement I've been able to focus on charitable contributions and their impacts.

I started making annual gifts to the alumni fund soon after I graduated-as soon as I had a regular job and could afford it. Even early on, I knew how much Bowdoin meant to me, and I wanted to pass along those advantages to the students who came after me. I started small but was able to build up those gifts as I progressed through my career.

When I made my estate plan about 15 years ago, I included Bowdoin in a substantial way. I felt strongly that I wanted part of my legacy to include support for the academic programs, student life, financial aid and all the other elements that will continue to make the Bowdoin student experience so special for generations to come.

Most recently, I established the Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund to address Bowdoin's most pressing current need: financial aid. The fund provides tuition assistance to the deserving and extraordinarily talented students who are on campus right now. It also serves as a convenient vehicle for others in our graduating class to support current Bowdoin students if they so choose.

Taken as a whole, these three ways of giving back to the College—annual gifts, a planned gift and an endowed scholarship fund—allow me to participate in the lives of current students and those who will be lucky enough to attend Bowdoin later on.

-Steven J. Weiss '64

About Steve and Linda:
After earning his economics degree from Bowdoin, Steve moved to Boston where he earned a master's degree from Harvard and then worked as vice president and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, until he was named as Massachusetts' deputy commissioner of banks.

He later moved on to the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., where he served as deputy comptroller of the currency. Steve and Linda live in Boonsboro, Md., where they are proud to have reforested much of their land by planting new trees. They also spend much of their time traveling, hiking and enjoying theater and other cultural events in Washington, D.C.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Bowdoin College 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 give to Bowdoin College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 4100 College Station, Brunswick, ME 04011, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and 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 a charitable account sponsored by a public charity that donors use to support their philanthropy.

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.

A lead trust holds appreciating assets for a term of years (or for your lifetime), and makes quarterly or annual payments to Bowdoin College. The College benefits from the stream of reliable, steady gifts from the lead trust, and you're able to witness the impact of your gifts during your lifetime. At the end of the trust's term, all remaining trust assets are distributed to your designated beneficiaries with greatly reduced (in some cases zeroing out) gift and estate tax, regardless of how much the trust has grown.

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 Bowdoin 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 Bowdoin 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 Bowdoin where you agree to make a gift to Bowdoin 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.

With a retained life estate, the donor(s) irrevocably deeds a personal residence or farm to the College, but retains the right to live in it for the rest of his/her life, a term of years, or a combination of the two. The term is most commonly measured by the life of the donor or of the donor and the donor’s spouse.

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