Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Heywood Luncheon Sets the Stage
The Heywood Society luncheon during Reunion weekend is a highlight for many returning alumni. Every year, members gather in Great Hall to hear how planned gifts make a difference in the lives of Carleton students. The program also includes a performance by the Singing Knights, who have the happy occasion of joining members for lunch and conversation prior to their time up front.
At this year's luncheon, no one knew better what that's like than newly-welcomed Heywood Society member Justin Schoolmaster '03, a former bass/baritone in the group. The young alumnus let the College know in early June about a will provision he had set up shortly following graduation in 2003. His motivation for this planned gift? In part, it was what he heard at the Heywood Society luncheons he attended as a Singing Knight.
"Without being at those luncheons, a will provision would not have been on my mind," says Schoolmaster. "Listening to Heywood members, I realized that Carleton was an important enough aspect of their lives that they wanted to ensure its role for future students with resources that could have been given to their own families or other organizations. I thought how really selfless that is, and how it embodies Carleton's character. It was powerful."
Schoolmaster, who now works in development at Harvard University, emphasizes that a will provision for someone his age is not about how much a person can give; rather, it's stems from knowing that, over time, Carleton will remain valued and respected—enough to make it a part of another person's life.
He says, "At the time of my graduation, something inside of me knew that this place was going to mean a great deal to me for the rest of my life. That was not going to change. I believe in what Carleton does to help students figure out their academic options, explore the world, and have a great time in the process."
Recognizing that he is a uniquely young member of the Heywood Society, Schoolmaster doesn't view his testmentary plans as premature. "We hear more and more about the importance of early planning for retirement. It's not an odd step from that type of long-term planning to considering how philanthropy fits into your intentions," he says. "There's no reason not to commit early to supporting the next generation of Carleton students, especially when you know your feelings won't change"
Seating Arrangement Works Magic
Peggy and Diethelm ProweDiethelm and Peggy Prowe first met during a welcome lunch for new faculty members in the fall of 1966, when they were seated together at President John Nason's table. Diethelm had just begun teaching in the history department; Peggy was teaching physical education and coaching field hockey and swimming. They were married two years later.
Diethelm, Laird Bell Professor of History, emeritus, retired in June; Peggy retired from part-time teaching in 2000. They recently set up a deferred charitable gift annuity with Carleton after assessing how dual retirement would affect their financial picture. "We knew we wanted to do something for Carleton at some point," Diethelm says. "Facing the changes to our income and the associated tax implications, we realized it would be better to make this gift now rather than later." Looking down the road, Diethelm and Peggy also recognized that deferring income for a short period of time would be a wise decision for them.
The Prowes were delighted with the assistance provided by the Carleton Development Office. "We called Mari and two days later everything was taken care of," explains Diethelm.
While this fall feels a little strange to the couple without the usual routine of course preparations and student advising, they are looking forward to more time with family and opportunities to travel. "When we started in 1966, we thought we'd be here for two years," notes Peggy. They both agree, "Things worked out well."
It Only Takes a Spark
Kellie and Beach Hall '53At their 30th reunion in 1983, Beach Hall '53 and Marianne "Kellie" Kalivoda Hall '53 attended a seminar about estate planning. Information presented about deferred charitable gift annuities sparked their interest.
"It sounded like a win-win," says Kellie.
After thinking about how a deferred annuity might fit into their financial planning, they did their first deferred gift annuity in 1986. They did another one in 1987. And another one in 1988. And in June, when back on campus for their 55th reunion, they established their 13th deferred gift annuity.
No, they're not trying to be the poster children for this type of gift. Their series of annuities is the result of carefully considering how to manage their taxable estate and set up a stable income stream for when it's needed most.
"We've been attracted to the deferred option because of the larger tax deduction and greater rate of return," says Kellie. "We funded all of them with appreciated stock as a way of softening capital gains taxes."
Beach and Kellie also have Carleton in mind. "We've been supporting Carleton since graduation," says Beach. "We've been very blessed and believe in supporting the institutions and organizations that are important to us."
At the time of their 50th reunion, the Halls also designated Carleton as a beneficiary of their retirement accounts. This gift, in combination with the proceeds from their annuities, will be used to fund an endowed scholarship.
The benefits of deferred charitable gift annuities are many, but for Beach and Kellie it has now become a way of giving to Carleton that will help future generations of students attend Carleton and receive an exceptional liberal arts education.
Both Beach and Kellie agree that's the ultimate win.
Gifting Property Makes Unitrust Possible
Katherine “Chick” Shrader Stauffer ’48 originally didn’t want to attend Carleton. (She came solely because her older sister, Louise Shrader Cannon ’41, had attended the College.) But once on campus, Chick says, “I was very happy. I got a good education and made good friends.” Those friends included her husband, James Stauffer ’48, with whom she raised five children.
The couple settled near Rice Lake, Wisconsin, where Jim taught biological sciences at a branch campus of the University of Wisconsin. Chick still lives on North Shore Bear Lake in Haugen, Wis., where she enjoys a quiet life in the country. Prior to Jim’s death, the couple used a portion of the farmland they inherited from Chick’s family to fund a unitrust with Carleton. The unitrust is paying income to Chick during her lifetime. After her death, half of the unitrust’s remainder will benefit Carleton, with the other half being distributed among 11 additional charities the Stauffers support.
“Jim and I met at Carleton. We had a good life, and we wouldn’t have had that without the education we received," she says. "Also, we had a general interest in education, and among the schools we considered for this gift, Carleton was the only one set up to work with us.”
The Stauffers paid no capital gains tax at the time the unitrust was established, and the unitrust pays Chick an annual income. “As the price of the land went up, we realized the capital gains tax would have been outrageous,” Chick says. “The tax break we received was good, and the income has kept me going.”
Making the Most of a Unitrust
In his first job, as secretary to the president of the Marathon corporation, Judd Alexander '49 got some good advice. You should always contribute to charity, his boss told him, and Alexander has consistently followed that advice. Carleton has been the beneficiary of much of his generosity, including a charitable remainder unitrust he established 20 years ago.
A unitrust is essentially an income-providing gift: You give Carleton a significant financial gift, then you receive a percentage of your trust's assets back each year. "The income isn't eaten away by inflation like most pensions," Alexander says. His unitrust--and also his trust income--has more than doubled over time.
"Carleton has an excellent record managing these securities," Alexander says.
Alexander, a longtime trustee of the College, is impressed with how the growth of his unitrust has helped Carleton. "Carleton plays in the major leagues with minor league resources," he says. "We're a top liberal arts college without the large endowment of the colleges we're competing with." A unitrust is a giving strategy that "allows you to both give and receive," Alexander says. "These kinds of contributions will play a terrific role in getting Carleton's endowment to a billion dollars."
Alexander worked for the Marathon Corporation for eight years before American Can purchased it. He then spent 25 years with American Can, rising to executive vice president before it, in turn, was purchased by James River Corporation. He retired from James River in 1989 as the executive vice president for finance, only to write a well-reviewed book called In Defense of Garbage, which drew on his long experience with the packaging industry.
"During my work years I changed fields frequently, sometimes taking on tasks that no one had tackled before, such as starting an environmental affairs department," Alexander says. "The versatility of the liberal arts did very nicely by me."
"Even before retiring from his long and varied career, Alexander established his unitrust at Carleton, using as seed money the payout from a long-term investment in a private company. This strategy saved him from payign capital gains taxes while also allowing him to take a partial tax deduction for the donation. Alexander made multiple additions to the trust over the next 15 years, something that many donors forget is a possibility.
"Carleton has kept focused on its mission," Alexander says. Now it's time, he says, for the College's alumni and friends to help fund that mission. Alexander believes that unitrusts offer a way to do that while also helping fund donors' own retirement.
The Impact of Well Planned Gifts
Like many people, Evelyn “Evie” Haymaker Dolven ’60 and Earl Dolven made regular contributions to tax-deferred retirement plans throughout their careers. The two live in the San Francisco Bay area, where Earl practiced law and Evie specialized in art instruction and taught learning-disabled kids.
Over time, tax-free appreciation added to the Dolven's pensions, and they worried that the unused portions of their accounts would one day be subject to high tax liabilities unless they designated the funds for charitable or educational purposes. After working with a financial planner and consulting Carleton staff, Evie and Earl decided to name Carleton College and the University of Wisconsin at Madison—Earl’s alma mater—as the beneficiaries of any assets left in their retirement plans. This allows them to leave other less heavily taxed assets to their three children, thereby increasing the impact of their gifts to their family and the two schools.
Evie, a long-time member of Carleton’s Alumni Annual Fund Board, made a planned gift to the College's Mary Lathrop Benton Scholarship Fund, a fund that holds special meaning for her family. The scholarship was established in 1978 by her mother, Dr. Evelyn Anderson Haymaker ’21, to honor one of Evelyn’s favorite teachers. Mary Lathrop Benton was Carleton's Dean of Women and a professor of French and Latin from 1914-1922. A strong supporter of the early women’s movement, Professor Benton was an important mentor for many women students and helped Evelyn Anderson attend medical school after Carleton.
In making her planned gift, Evie designated Carleton as the beneficiary of her IRA accounts and also used some money from an inheritance. The Dolvens also joined several of Earl’s classmates in establishing a professorship fund at the University of Wisconsin at Madison to honor an influential teacher and advisor there.
These generous gifts pay tribute to the important role higher education played in the lives of the Dolvens and illustrate the powerful impact of well planned gifts on the work of students and faculty far into the future.
Mary and Paul Carson lived a long and happy life at Maryhill, their architecturally designed home nestled on a five-acre wooded lot in Edina, Minnesota. There they raised four children, three of whom attended Carleton: Cary Carson ’63, Bobb Carson ’65, and Margit Carson Johnson ’70, who recently retired as Carleton’s off-campus studies director. The Carsons’ granddaughter Tekla Johnson ’97 also is a Carl.
Before Paul’s death in 2005, the Carsons talked about the importance of Carleton to their family and their wish to support the College. “Paul worried about whether we would be able to do it, but then we realized we had a plum in Maryhill,” says Mary, who at age 91 recently moved to Northfield. Through careful planning and with the help of proceeds from the sale of their home, she and Paul established the Maryhill Endowed Scholarship Fund, combining several gift types—an outright gift, a bequest from a retirement plan, and the remainder from a charitable gift annuity—in order to do so. In fall 2007 Rachel Klein ’08, a classical languages major from Sierra Vista, Arizona, was named the first Maryhill Scholarship recipient.
The Carsons built Maryhill in 1940 and lived there for 65 years. Prairie School architect William Gray Purcell designed the house as a wedding present for the couple. “The plans for the house were a gift, so in a way we are just passing along the gift,” Mary says. “I think the architect would be pleased.” Named by Paul for Mary, the home was unique to the Carson family’s interests and activities, and Paul did much of the woodworking. Before they sold Maryhill, the Carsons placed it under a conservation easement with the Minnesota Land Trust to ensure that their beloved home would not be torn down or altered significantly. Documentation of Maryhill’s creation—nearly 600 letters that passed between the couple and the architect—is now preserved in the University of Minnesota’s Northwest Architectural Archives.
Mary and Paul appreciated the education their children received in Carleton’s challenging and stimulating environment. “We thought it was wonderful how well they could express themselves,” Mary says. The scholarship fund will ensure that future talented students acquire the skills they need to become the world’s next generation of leaders.
Appreciating Carleton Today
Sometimes, you have to leave a place like Carleton to appreciate it fully. At least that’s how it was for Vicki Rupp ’66, who left Carleton to attend the University of Minnesota. “For many years now I’ve felt that was a poor decision,” she says.
Although she attended occasional reunions and contributed to the annual fund, Vicki really reconnected with Carleton in 2000, through an Alumni Adventures trip to China. She now serves on the planning committee for the travel program. That service (and nearly 10 more alumni trips) have restored her Carleton experience, Vicki says. “What has meant more than anything to me is the bond between Carls from classes spanning decades. I always come home with more friends than I had when I left.”
Vicki, who lives in Kentfield, California, has generously included a $2 million bequest for Carleton in her will. She also has endowed a scholarship for students with demonstrated financial need, and her bequest will be added to that scholarship.
"I wanted to give to an organization that will continue to do what it's currently doing well," she says.
Vicki traveled frequently for her job as the vice president for global procurement for the Americas at American Express, so travel was the perfect way for her to reconnect with Carleton.
“My education has been very valuable to me,” Vicki says, “and I believe that a liberal arts education is important for people who will be citizens of the world.”
Larry Meinert '75 has struck gold. “I essentially teach people how to find gold mines,” he says. A 1975 graduate of Carleton, he currently teaches geology at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. Larry is interested mainly in economic geology, or the study of natural resources, and his expertise leads him on consulting trips around the world to help people interested in discovering gold.
Establishing a charitable gift annuity at Carleton (actually, he has two) was a golden opportunity for Larry and his wife, Georgia Yuan, to support a “fine school that was good to me,” Larry says. “With the way the tax laws are written, a charitable gift annuity to a place like Carleton makes sense.”
After earning a PhD at Stanford, Larry began his teaching career in geology at Washington State University in the early 1980s, just as the state’s wine industry was expanding.
That’s when Larry became interested in the ancient drink—from making his own (he ships Washington-grown grapes, “the best fruit in the world,” to his Massachusetts home to make a barrel-fermented Cabernet Sauvignon) and teaching wine-appreciation classes to becoming an expert on vineyard soils.
Through his charitable gift annuity, Larry will help future talented and diverse students acquire the skills they need to become the world’s next generation of leaders.
The Chance of a Lifetime
In philanthropy and in life, Bob Lockwood '49 has always made the most of his opportunities.
Bob Lockwood '49 planned to join the U.S. Navy after high school, but when imperfect vision foiled his intentions, his father helped put him on another path. "Dad said, 'Well, in that case, you'll go to college,' " Lockwood recalls. "And within three weeks I was whisked off to Carleton"—his father's alma mater.
Carleton proved to be the perfect spot. "I loved the place," Lockwood says. Professors encouraged his interest in chemistry, which led to his 38-year career with 3M. His experience also inspired a lifelong commitment—both volunteer and financial—to Carleton. He is currently a class agent, helping his classmates reach record participation levels in giving.
A few years ago, Lockwood made a $500,000 will provision in honor of his 50th reunion, for which he was an active part of the gift committee. His gift was earmarked for the Class of 1949 Faculty Development Fund, which provides support for junior faculty research and travel, among other things. It seemed to be a fitting tribute to the professors who had guided him years ago.
Bequests like Lockwood's are generally realized after the donor has died, but Lockwood has fulfilled the provision during his lifetime by making several outright gifts, and most recently, by establishing a $250,000 charitable remainder unitrust to benefit his daughter.
"For Bob, a charitable remainder unitrust turned out to be a terrific way to address a variety of financial and estate planning objectives, both for his family and for the college that means so much to him," says Christine Solso '78, Carleton's director of planned giving. "Bob's decision to fulfill his bequest intention for Carleton with a combination of outright gifts and a charitable remainder unitrust reflects his unwavering commitment to Carleton's current and future students."
What's more, the outright gifts give Lockwood the satisfaction of knowing that his contributions to the College will have an immediate impact, while he can witness the benefits. "I found I was able to complete my plans now," he says of his gifts. "I got the satisfaction of seeing it done."
Lockwood is also enthusiastic about being a class agent, encouraging his classmates to donate to the College. Last year, a banner year for Carleton alumni giving, Lockwood and his classmates set record participation levels: 63 percent of class members made a contribution. "We pointed out that a shortage of funds is tough on everyone, including the College," Lockwood says. "Even if you've only got $10 to give, a high percentage of participation of alumni support goes a long way toward convincing foundations that this is a good school to support."
Tipping the Scales
Keith MacKenzie ’50 knows the value of good financial advice. An acquaintance suggested in 1981 that he invest in a small company that built transformers for computers. The age of personal computers and the Internet was still years away, but MacKenzie trusted the tip enough to buy $50,000 worth of stock in the company. By the time he cashed out, the nest egg had grown to $1.6 million.
Now it’s MacKenzie who is offering financial tips. Among them is a belief in the power of life income gifts, such as charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder unitrusts. MacKenzie spent most of his career in St. Paul as a general agent for Massachusetts Mutual, an insurance company. Since retiring in 1984, he has set up numerous life income gifts through Carleton’s planned giving office. “I think I’ve used as many combinations of annuities and unitrusts as you possibly can,” he says. At current count, MacKenzie has established four charitable remainder unitrusts with Carleton, each listing a different family member as the beneficiary. He has also set up 23 annuities since 1996.
Only one of MacKenzie’s four children attended Carleton, but he has encouraged all of them to invest in the College. Each has followed his advice by setting up an annuity. “Annuities provide reliable fixed income,” MacKenzie says. “And the results of Carleton’s unitrust growth have been extremely good in comparison with those of any other institution I’ve been involved with. It’s comforting to think that after all the incomes are paid out to me, my wife, and my children, the College benefits significantly.”
MacKenzie has invested more than his money in Carleton. An economics major, he recalls one of his professors advising him to “Get all you can, and can all you get”—loosely stated as “Earn lots and save lots.” To that end, MacKenzie helped the Class of 1950 raise $12 million for the College in 2000. At the time, the gift was nearly triple the amount previously pledged by any Carleton class.
Meeting several needs with a single solution—as MacKenzie has done with his life income gifts—fits his overall philosophy that philanthropy and profit can go hand in hand. “Keith is a financially savvy person,” says Lynne Wilmot ’89, one of Carleton’s planned giving officers. “He has recognized that establishing charitable gift annuities and unitrusts makes for good business and good charity.”