Skip to Content

Dick '58 and Martha Burns

Dick '58 and Martha BurnsLooking back on Bowdoin at his 50th Reunion, Dick Burns '58 reflected, "the good fortune I had to be able to go to Bowdoin has been a significant and positive force in my life. I have been most fortunate in my family, my children, my grandchildren, my work and my circumstances, all of which I know Bowdoin directly or indirectly contributed to and enriched." Bowdoin has, in turn, been more than fortunate in having Dick as a committed and engaged alumnus. Along with his wife Martha, Dick is now a part-time resident of Mere Point in Brunswick, which makes it easier for the College and the Class of '58 to "keep him busy and out of mischief." And, indeed, Bowdoin has kept Dick very busy; in recognition of his outstanding and dedicated service in a wide variety of roles, including class agent, reunion planner, Alumni Council member, Alumni Fund Director, and phone-a-thon volunteer, the Alumni Council awarded him the 2002 Polar Bear Award. Dick also served as Gift Co-Chair for his 50th Reunion.

Dick went on from Bowdoin to earn a law degree from New York University and has spent close to 50 years practicing law in New York City, including a 23-year partnership with brother Bruce Burns '62 and many years serving in local and state government. Martha has worked with Dick as manager of his law practice since 1984, and they raised four children together.They now enjoy four grandchildren, including granddaughter Colleen Maher '12.

Dick and Martha have contributed generously to the College, helping with the renovations of Pickard Theater and the Curtis Pool, funding scholarships, and supporting the Polar Bear Fund, and the Alumni Fund. In 2008, they donated a lithograph by Käthe Kollwitz and a painting by Aaron Henry Gorson - two wonderful pieces that are now part of the Museum of Art's permanent collection. In honor of Dick's 50th Reunion, they created a legacy gift at Bowdoin by establishing a charitable gift annuity to fund the Richard E. and Martha F. Burns Endowment Fund to provide general support to the College. Dick notes with approval that the College "continues its vital and unique connection to the State of Maine and continues to get better and more successful with the passage of time." Dick says he is fortunate to count himself a Bowdoin graduate; the College is fortunate indeed to have Dick and Martha's support, both now and in the future.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

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

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.