Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
"A Daughter Honors Her Father"
Percival van Roden Harris ’10
From Ann Harris, member of the BWW Society
Among my memories of my father, Percival van Roden Harris ’10, are his fond reminiscences about his years at The Episcopal Academy. It is my belief that being enriched by the Episcopal experience inspired him to give of his many athletic and academic talents to the school.
I was not fully aware of the extent of his participation until I read The Tabula, Class of 1910. My friend James M. Earle, Class of 1942, kept telling me about how important my father had been during his years at Episcopal. This made me want to know more, and when I saw The Tabula and visited the campus, I realized the extent of my father’s contributions.
Then I knew what I wanted to do. I could establish a scholarship to The Episcopal Academy. In so doing I could honor my father, and I could provide a student, who would otherwise be unable to benefit from the Episcopal experience, with the opportunity to do so.
This my father would love.
Editor’s Note: Ann B. Harris, Lawrence C. Harris and the late Percival van Roden Harris, Jr. established the Percival van Roden Harris Scholarship Fund as a tribute to their father. The Fund will provide tuition assistance to students in need who participate in athletics, music, and community service—interests pursued by their father.
"Planning Ahead For Family and EA"
By Kim and Jamie Richter, EA '88 and '86, respectively
As a couple, we have been affiliated with EA since 1975, the year Kim '88 enrolled in kindergarten! Jamie '86 joined the mix in 6th grade in 1979. Needless to say, those nearly 40 years of Episcopal Academy involvement have brought incredible experiences, growth, learning, and lifelong friends. We have always felt like part of a very unique community at EA and, of course, it holds a particularly special place for us since it is where we met. Now, as EA parents -- Kelsey '20 and Eloise '21 (entering 6th grade this fall), plus Sydney '24 and Simon '26 aspiring to future matriculation at EA! We are delighted to be passing along the Episcopal experience to our own children.
After getting married in 2000 (with Reverend Squire helping to preside over our ceremony) and having our first child in 2002, we took the grown-up step of drafting our wills and estates. We decided we felt it would be nice to include a charitable organization in our plans, and it did not take long for us to choose Episcopal as that recipient. For us, the decision was unrelated to what amount we might be in a position to give when the time comes. Rather, it stemmed from a shared desire to "give back," and for us, no recipient could be more meaningful than EA, where we grew up together and put in place the foundation of the life and family we would ultimately build together. These are, of course, very personal decisions, but suffice it to say that membership in the Bishop William White Society has always felt right to us -- a great fit with our values and an opportunity to express our appreciation for an institution that has been important to us.
"Nancy Taylor Makes EA a Priority, Today and in the Future"
For the last 14 years, Nancy Taylor, Hon. has been a stalwart of the Alumni & Development Office. Every day Nancy pours her heart into her work with EA Alumni by planning their reunions, organizing events to honor their accomplishments, and sharing their joys and sorrows with their classmates. She proudly displays her honorary alumna certificate above her desk, and it is plain to see that she loves Episcopal as much as any graduate. This year, Nancy took a new step in cementing her place as part of the Episcopal community. She joined the Bishop William White Society.
“I always looked up to the people who worked here who were members of the Bishop William White Society,” Nancy says. “They love EA with all their hearts, and I do as well.” So when the time came to plan her estate to make sure her family members were cared for and knew her wishes, she was sure to include Episcopal alongside them as one of the beneficiaries.
A long-time Annual Fund donor, Nancy knows the importance of giving in the independent school culture. “If people believe in private education, it’s an easy way to donate money without making a sacrifice,” she says. “I think everybody should do it. I have enjoyed my time here, and I think that’s the case with many other people. It’s a small thing you can do to help carry on the tradition of the Academy and an important thing.”
"Tapping the Cash Value of Life Insurance"
George Lilley '61
There are times in life when the care, support and interest of one person can have a huge influence on the person we become. For me, that person was Richard Boekenkamp, Head of the Science Department at Episcopal. I entered Episcopal in the Second Form (8th grade) and it soon became apparent that academically, I lagged behind my classmates. I recall being called into his office, where he inquired about my school work. In hindsight I recognize that he was a very good listener and as a counselor, he gave me the support I needed to persevere. He was the one person I felt able to confide in. I know it was through his constant attention and support that I made it through EA.
Mr. Boekenkamp was the guidance counselor responsible for helping my class apply to college. I matriculated at Ursinus College, my studies improved, and I kept in touch with Mr. Boekenkamp. When I decided to pursue a Master's degree he put me in contact with the Higher Education Department at Ohio State University, where he was enrolled in the Ph.D. geology program. We remained friends throughout his life. I went on to get a Ph.D. in higher education, work in college administration, and hold senior posts in behavioral health care administration.
Two years ago I celebrated my 50th reunion at Episcopal. I looked forward to seeing former classmates, faculty, and the new campus, and I wanted to support our class's 50th reunion fund. When I learned I could use a life insurance policy to support the fund, I was intrigued. My grandparents had bought an insurance policy for me when I was very young. Over the years its value, both face and cash, had increased. I met with Episcopal staff and shared that I had a paid-up policy with substantial cash value that I no longer needed. With the help of Carolyn Jaeger, EA's Director of Planned Giving, and my insurance agent, the transfer of ownership of the policy was easily effected and the school was able to surrender the policy for its cash value.
Making the decision to support the class's reunion fund involved my desire to help ensure that future students would be able to experience not only the excellence of an Episcopal education, but also the kind, attentive support of her faculty. I recognize that our lives are full of serendipitous intersections and coincidences that shape us. The sacrifice of my parents allowing me to go to Episcopal, how it influenced me, and the personal attention I received from Dr. Boekenkamp were gifts that continue to enrich my life.
"Let's Make Episcopal Another Nephew"
Sandra and George Boyd,V '54
Sandra and I are delighted that we participated in the Ever Episcopal Campaign. Our "naming opportunity" at the new campus honors those devoted and patient masters who put up with us boys and egged us along through the years. My father, I , three nephews and a great nephew were all given the "Episcopal Experience," something I deeply value.
Seeing the glorious new campus after it was completed led us to consider another gift—one that will keep alive the institution and the "Episcopal Experience" for students still to come. Like many people, our concern was whether our assets would provide a comfortable retirement. Because Sandra and I were hesitant to commit to another outright gift, the development staff carefully laid out various options for deferred giving. The approach that made sense to us was simply this:
Not having children of our own, but with seven nephews and a niece, we said, "Well, let's make Episcopal another nephew." I was a child of Episcopal and so in turn Episcopal is now one of ours. Changing our wills was a cinch and I put it on record with the school.
I find it especially satisfying to pay back my debt to the school—a debt, in conscience, that we all have.
A Gift that Gives Back
Mitsie and Robert (RT) Toland '40
In RT's view, a Charitable Gift Annuity is one of the most donor friendly ways to give.
- It pays a guaranteed annual return to Mitsie and me as long as either of us lives.
- The interest rate is based on age and can be very attractive.
- The IRS allows a substantial income tax deduction the year of your gift.
- A considerable part of the annual return is tax exempt.
Patricia W. Porter, Director of Planned Giving, (484-424-1780) will be glad to show how it works for you.
We are all part of Episcopal's past. Now, it is even more exciting to be a part of Episcopal's Future. For my reasons, please read on.
Why Bother to Support Episcopal?
We fellow graduates received a sterling academic foundation from Episcopal. There were extras such as a spiritual experience and physical training during team sports with other schools. Do we recognize fully how much the Episcopal foundation enabled us to move forward?
For me it was a series of steps. Having graduated in the bottom 1/3 of '40, the first step was being accepted by Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut… the good ol' days.
With a flat B average after 2 years, the door opened to the V-5 Naval Aviation Program. In September, 1943 came Navy wings of gold and a commission: 2nd Lt USMCR. The Episcopal foundation continued to make a big difference during tough times that happened while serving 45 months of active duty.
Back to Trinity College in February, 1946 where we were stunned to learn at age 24/25, we were Old Men! Fortunately, catch-up ball was in full swing. After completing the BA program, the Harvard Business School was the only place to which I applied. It was a popular place, with ten applications for every one accepted. Two years later I became an enthusiastic owner and operator of an MBA '49.
The "B School" step has made a mega difference in my professional career, community activities and in my personal life. But without that sterling Episcopal foundation none of these steps would have happened, none of them. Are these good reasons to support Episcopal? My answer is resounding "Absolutely, and then some."
"A Trust to Enrich Episcopal and Me"
Donald van Roden '42
Back in 1985, when this venerable school was celebrating its 200th anniversary, I chaired Episcopal's Century III campaign. The goal of the campaign was to build the school's endowment, then in its infancy, in order to better compensate an excellent faculty and increase financial aid.
A CRAT (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust) fit nicely into my plans at the time. To create the trust I used greatly appreciated stock of SmithKline Beckman Corporation, where I spent my career. I avoided the capital gains tax, as did the trustee, The Episcopal Academy, when it sold the stock and reinvested the full proceeds in a balanced portfolio that pays me a guaranteed income for life. I was able to select the annuity percentage I receive each year and chose 6%, which was three times greater than the SmithKline stock dividend at the time. To date, the annuity payments total much more than my original gift. At the end of my lifetime, the remaining balance will be added to the school's endowment. Fortunately, I have lived long enough to see the trust double in value.
John Hentz ’48
John Hentz ’48 credits Episcopal with providing him with a solid foundation for life. “Much of what I know about integrity and morality came from examples demonstrated by EA faculty and classmates. I was certainly well prepared for college, but more importantly, prepared for life. All I came in contact with I learned from, although I may not have known it at the time. It gives me great satisfaction to include the Academy in my estate plans because it is an institution that shares my values.”
As an expression of his gratitude, John has named Episcopal the beneficiary of his IRA. His decision came about as he explored how to support Episcopal and provide for his family as well. Since the funds within an IRA are allowed to grow free of income tax, they are the least desirable to give to heirs, who may have to pay up to 75% in income and estate tax if they inherit the balance in these accounts. So John changed the beneficiary on his IRA to Episcopal, which, as a charitable organization, can receive the full amount without tax obligation.
For his heirs, John chose assets more advantageous to them. “That is what I call a win-win outcome. With a little forethought we can do both—provide for our families as well as help Episcopal.”