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Felix Verity '36: Renaissance Man

Felix Verity Little did Felix Verity '36 know when he was growing up in the suburbs of Boston and in Connecticut and New Jersey that one day he would attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace, or have lunch with Arctic explorer and Bowdoin honorary degree recipient Donald MacMillan, or meet Irish poet William Butler Yeats, or playwright Noel Coward, or see U.S. General George C. Marshall following the liberation of Paris during World War II, or-well, you get the picture.

Felix, or Lex as he is known by many, attended Bowdoin in the worst of the Great Depression and worked for the Provident Loan Society of New York following graduation. His next four years were spent in the U.S. Army, when he was awarded a Bronze Star for his activity as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps. After the Army, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service and was posted to the American Embassies in London and Rome, and The American Consulate General in Kingston, Jamaica. Lex then served as assistant to Joe Lauder and his wife, Estée Lauder, founder of Estée Lauder Cosmetics Company. He followed that with 16 years at McCall's Pattern Company, where he served as director of advertising and promotion.

Since his retirement in 1970, Lex has pursued his hobby of buying and selling antiques, specializing in 18th and 19th Century porcelain and silver. He lives comfortably but unpretentiously in the quiet, attractive village of Unadilla, New York, on the banks of the Susquehanna River.

Economic times were difficult when Lex was at Bowdoin, and he cobbled together his tuition, room, and board through a combination of scholarships, loans, and jobs. In spite of these pressures, Lex loved his time at Bowdoin, and out of gratitude has established the Felix S. Verity Fund, an endowment for the benefit of the music department that he is funding through several charitable gift annuities and a provision in his will.

Originally, Lex had intended to simply leave much of his estate to Bowdoin through his will. However, he learned that he could be paid fixed, relatively high rates through charitable gift annuities, which was a very attractive alternative to his fairly conservative investments.

"Comparing the guaranteed fixed Charitable Gift Annuity rate with what the bank offered when I was about to roll over my certificates of deposit was a no-brainer," says Lex.

The College is grateful for Lex's generosity, and we are happy to provide charitable gift annuity information and tailored illustrations to those who may be interested.

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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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