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John '66 and Wendy Lord Reflect on Reunion Gift

John and Wendy Lord

John and Wendy have homes in both Florida and Connecticut. John has been a volunteer during past reunions and is now serving on the Class of 1966 50th Reunion Committee.

By: John Lord

"I knew from secondary school in Boston that I wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in New England. I knew nothing about Bowdoin until I was introduced to the school by my uncle, who had attended officer radar training school at Bowdoin in the early part of World War II.

When I later visited Bowdoin, I fell in love and made it my only application. My choice proved to be the right one, and after my family moved to Los Angeles during the winter of my freshman year, I stayed behind with their support.

I always loved the informality of Bowdoin and the great diversity in backgrounds of my fellow students. I was fortunate to become great friends with a group of fraternity brothers, who remain close today and some of my best friends in life. In fact, we travel together annually. Wendy and I married while I was a student, so she is very much a part of the Class of 1966 as well.

I decided after graduating that I wanted to give back to Bowdoin, and it has remained a top philanthropic priority for me ever since. In addition to being loyal Alumni Fund supporters, Wendy and I decided to provide a larger contribution to the College when we converted our Family Charitable Foundation to a Donor Advised Foundation.

Bowdoin is now the sole beneficiary of its corpus upon my death. We felt this was an effective way for us to continue to provide charitable donations on an annual basis and to make a larger donation in the future."

Contact Office of Gift Planning at 207-725-3172 or giftplanning@bowdoin.edu to learn of ways that you and your loved ones can include future students and faculty at Bowdoin in your estate and financial plans. Visit our website to explore the different types of planned gifts available today.

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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Bowdoin College [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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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.