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A Different World: Past and Future at a Changing Bryant

Janet Rutter ’54 reflects on Bryant’s growth across a span of 60 years

Jane Rutter

Janet Rutter ’54

"If you didn't make the dean's list," says Janet Rutter '54, "you didn't go out." The curfew for Bryant women with top grades was ten o'clock on weeknights, midnight on weekends. This was just one of the many changes Rutter noted when she visited campus at the start of the fall semester of 2016.

Rutter recalls using her late-curfew privilege to make stops around Providence picking up snacks for her dorm-mates. This generous spirit was part of the reason Rutter found lifelong friends during her college days. She is quick to list the names of classmates with whom she kept in touch for decades, even when families and careers led them in different directions. Rutter's former roommate, Louise Kelso '54, joined her for the return to Bryant.

While looking across the Smithfield campus, Rutter says, "Oh, it was nothing like this. I look at the magazines that come from Bryant and I just can't believe the buildings. And to see them in's a different world."

Among all of the changes, certain qualities remain as fixtures of the Bryant experience. Rutter recalls an education that prepared her for the professional world. Students then, as now, needed personal drive and dedication to meet the high academic standards set by faculty. "You had to work hard," Rutter recalls. "You had to do it right." Her course of study provided a blend of business and office skills that led to a 40-year career working closely with the president of Warren Pumps in Warren, Massachusetts.

At its core, Bryant's commitment to a rigorous education remains the same. Rutter has helped to ensure this continuity with a charitable gift annuity, which allows her to make a gift now while receiving income for life."

By connecting to Bryant in this way, she establishes a vital connection between past and present, and demonstrates one way that alumni can merge their own financial planning with a gift to sustain the University for the long term. In talking about giving back, Rutter reflects on the things that her Bryant experience gave her. "I just felt that I got a good education. I was happy, and I met some great people."

Rutter has ensured the promise of a Bryant education for new generations of students for years to come, even if they can stay out a bit later at night than they used to.

Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant's Bold Future is the largest fundraising effort in Bryant's history. The $75 million campaign will generate the resources the University needs to achieve the transformative goals of Bryant's Vision 20/20 strategic plan and rise to new levels of excellence and national prominence. 

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Bryant University 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Bryant University [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 an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Bryant University or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

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.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

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 Bryant University 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 Bryant University 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 Bryant University where you agree to make a gift to Bryant University 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.

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