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A Sure Swing: Don '48 and Joanne Russell

Don Russell '48 Don Russell '48 credits his admission to Bowdoin to the fact that so few young men were left at home at the height of World War II. "If the College hadn't needed students so badly, I probably wouldn't have gotten in," he says with a self-deprecating laugh. Hardly true, as Bowdoin was fortunate to have attracted Don. Nonetheless, one year after he enrolled, the war effort took him, too. He spent what would have been his sophomore year in the Navy, but set his sights on graduating with his class, and, with some extra summer school studies, did just that.

Don brought the same sense of dedication to his career in the insurance industry and to his retirement vocation - golf. His wife, Joanne, will attest to the strength of his passion for the links as well as for his alma mater. Even on Florida courses, he seeks out other Bowdoin alumni who share these passions.

Throughout his career, Don has served the common good and the College in many capacities, including class agent, special gifts chair, planned giving committee chair, campaign volunteer, and reunion organizer. He feels strongly that the privilege of a Bowdoin education comes with a responsibility to future generations. "When a student attends Bowdoin, the tuition covers only a portion of the real cost. The balance comes from the endowment, so what better purpose for doing estate planning than giving something back to support the endowment?"

Over the years, Don has supported that principle not only with regular contributions to the Alumni Fund, but also with a contribution to one of the College's Pooled Life Income Funds. He also gave an oil painting by Sam Osgood that had been in his family for generations to the Museum of Art. More recently, Don established two substantial Charitable Remainder Unitrusts. The trusts benefit from professional management, and Don and his daughters will receive income for the rest of their lives. At least seventy percent of the remainder of each trust will come to Bowdoin; Don's daughters may determine the beneficiaries of the remaining thirty percent. Recognizing the importance to the College of unrestricted funds, Don chose to make his gift available for any purpose.

Bowdoin is lucky that Don chose to spend his college years under the pines. In the decades since his graduation, Don has been generous with his time and talents. His decision to fund the Charitable Remainder Trusts demonstrates his passion for the College and its educational mission. The end result is a hole-in-one for his family and for Bowdoin.

eBrochure Request Form

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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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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