Planning For Our 50th Reunion Gift to Williams 

We know that in life, only two things are inevitable. So let’s talk about both—and how, with a stroke of a pen, or PC, or mobile keyboard today—all 274 of us can join to support our 50th Reunion Class Gift to Williams and other good works on campus.


We’re talking the last 50 years of our history with Williams and, of course, the effect of death and taxes &ndash on us and on the College. It all comes together as we ask you to make a 50th Reunion gift to Williams in recognition of our brotherhood as crusty old Williams alums and as part of our legacy.

What are we asking for?


To support both ends of Mark Hopkins’s log, we would like to raise $4 million from the Class before the 50th Reunion to serve two major purposes:

  • $3 million to endow a Class of 1969 Professorship.  
  •  $1 million to provide four Class of 1969 scholarships for future undergraduates, particularly those who come to us from low-income families via the Questbridge program. 
  •  So far, we have received more than $2,470,000 in commitments toward full funding of these gift purposes (as of 6/1/18), and we hope all classmates will join in.

 That amount is only part of what we hope to be a much larger 50th Reunion Class Gift to the College. The total Class Gift includes all Alumni Fund gifts and pledges made by classmates to Williams since our 40th Reunion, as well as all gifts and pledges to Williams from classmates for purposes other than our two designated goals. So far, that total Class Gift stands at almost $8.15 million as of 6/1/18.


How do we get there?


Outright gifts are one way, and they can be made with:

  • Cash
  • Appreciated shares of stock, mutual funds or bonds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Real estate
  • Tangible personal property
  •  For classmates who have reached the magic age of 70-1/2 and have been successful retirement savers, an IRA charitable rollover of up to $100,000 per year.

At their simplest, gifts can be made through a multi-year pledge, which you can make at any time before our 50th Reunion to support our two designated class gift purposes.  This approach gives you flexibility to pay your pledge in installments over time, and you can decide to satisfy your pledge with cash gifts, appreciated stock, or a variety of alternatives mentioned above.  Funding your gift with appreciated securities, for example, can increase their benefits to you.


For example, an annual gift of say. $5,000, pledged to be made annually starting with the reunion year of 2019, amounts to $25,000 over 5 years. If you make a $5,000 per year pledge now and continue it through 2024, that could amount to $35,000, all of which could count toward the funding of our class gift purposes.


Once you turn 70-1/2 (we’ll all be there by our 50th Reunion in June 2019), making one or more gifts to Williams from your IRA through an IRA Charitable Rollover  as a tax-efficient way of supporting Williams because these contributions can count as part of your required minimum IRA distribution.


Planned Gifts,  as they’re euphemistically known, are another option. Among previous classes, planned gifts have often accounted for 50 percent or more of 50th Reunion giving.


We all know the grim reaper will pay a visit someday -- hopefully a long and healthy time from now. But when he (or she) calls, we can use good estate planning to ensure that some of our accumulated wealth &ndash even a small share -- gets put to work for Williams. Better yet, there are tax advantages.


The College offers several types of planned giving that can help us make larger gifts—and leave a greater legacy—than we might have thought possible.  These gifts are often individually tailored to your circumstances and address several personal issues involved in financial, philanthropic, retirement and estate planning.


Planned gifts usually require more time and coordination than an outright gift. Frequently, they’re made from assets on hand, rather than current income, and they become available to the College for its use upon the donor’s death. Meanwhile, in return they provide a stream of income to you, your family or others you designate — benefiting both you and the College.


Examples of the types of planned gifts available to you from Williams include the following:



These programs, designed with various tax objectives and requirements in mind, also offer various investment alternatives. Subject to certain requirements, they can be tailored to your own long-term planning, and they may be of particular interest as part of your retirement or estate planning.  Your financial advisers have probably mentioned similar alternatives. The cost of the programs offered by the College is modest.


[Click Here] to see a comparison chart of three popular 50th Reunion gift planning alternatives.


Many of us are already members of the Ephraim Williams Society, having told the College that we have made bequests to the Williams in our wills. Williams also offers a Williams Today and Tomorrow program for 50th Reunion classes that anticipates a current gift of at least $50,000 but, like the Ephraim Williams Society, is geared toward estate planning.  This program may appeal to you if you want to confirm your bequest to the College and look into the distant future for major financial contributions to the College.  The combined minimum gift under this program is $300,000, with all but the current gift coming from your estate. In other words, a commitment of $50,000 in cash or equivalents over the next five years and then at least $250,000 from your estate


How can I get more information?


The College WebSite contains extensive information about gifts to the College, and the school’s Office of Gift Planning will be happy to help you tailor a program that meets your needs on a fully confidential basis. You can contact Margaret McComish or Amy Filson in the Office of Gift Planning by phone at 877-374-7526 or by email at You will need to rely on your own advisers for any legal or tax advice.


Bob Grace, our chair of deferred giving, would also be happy to discuss any questions you have about a planned gift program on a confidential basis.  Bob is a classmate who has already made a deferred gift commitment to the College.  He can be contacted by phone or text at 704-918-6302 or by email at