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John Halperin '63

John Halperin '63 Writer, scholar, and college professor John Halperin '63 has always felt strongly about the connection between higher education and contemporary issues. He has continually challenged Bowdoin to make a liberal arts education relevant to, and engaged with, the changing world.

Not long after his Bowdoin commencement, John wrote to President Coles, promising that his activity with the College would not cease with graduation. "I have always felt that indifference is the most damaging criticism possible," he wrote, committing to being an involved alumnus as a way of paying back "an excellent education and four deeply happy years." "In short," he said, "you can count on me."

John's commitment to keeping a high-quality liberal arts education relevant and affordable motivated him to provide for Bowdoin in his estate plans. Through a bequest in his will, retirement account beneficiary designations, and charitable gift annuities, John plans to establish an endowed scholarship fund as well as provide unrestricted funds for Bowdoin's operations. In 2012 he also established a lectureship fund which supports bringing published writers in all genres to the College every year.

"Nothing is more important in this world of ours than making sure that everyone who wants one should have a college education, whether he or she can afford it or not," John says. "Nothing is sadder than talent wasted or unfulfilled." John's generous gifts will ensure that Bowdoin's doors remain open for future students.

John, a two-time Guggenheim Fellow, two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, and one of a select group of Americans elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in England, has made a life's work of helping students find connections between the history and literature of the 19th and 20th centuries and the contemporary world around them. In 1990, he received the Distinguished Educator Award from Bowdoin in recognition of his contributions at several universities, including Vanderbilt, where he was for 24 years Centennial Professor of English. He has published eight books. John lives in La Jolla, California, where as Research Professor of English at Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles, he holds weekly seminars for Ph.D. students.

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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