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Irma and William Thalheimer '27

Irma and William Thalheimer

Irma and William Thalheimer

In 1981, Irma and William Thalheimer ‘27, deeded their Orr's Island property to Bowdoin College with a provision that they could live out their lives there. Located just 12 miles from campus, the property contains 118 acres of fields and forests, nearly two and half miles of undeveloped ocean frontage wrapped around two peninsulas in Harpswell Sound, and a well-maintained farmhouse and barn. William Thalheimer died in 1986; his wife remained in the house until 1992 and died two years later. The former salt water farm is rich in natural and cultural history. Previous occupants of the property include indigenous inhabitants; colonist Joseph Orr (for whom Orr's Island was named); the Wyers and the Hansons (New England farming families); the Winnewisser brothers; and the Thalheimers who, for the second half of the 20th century, enjoyed its beauty during retirement. Bowdoin retained the property to augment its academic programs. In 1995, Leon Gorman '56 and his wife Lisa, provided the funding necessary to develop the property into an academic laboratory and research facility.

Now home to Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center, the former Thalheimer property is the site of the Bowdoin Marine Science Semester. BMSS students and faculty take advantage of on-site resources including: the farmhouse (for classroom and digital computation work); terrestrial laboratory; marine laboratory (with flowing seawater); and, docks and piers. The CSC property also includes the Bowdoin sailing center and five miles of hiking trails. The Thalheimers' careful stewardship of this remarkable property resulted in the College becoming only the fifth owner of this pristine land in over 122 years. In arranging a retained life estate with the College, Bill and Irma left a legacy to both Bowdoin and Harpswell. The generosity of the Thalheimers and the Gormans have allowed Bowdoin to offer an exceptional and unique academic experience to Bowdoin students now and in the future.

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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