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Giving Bryant a Better Tomorrow


Bryant students on campus.

Every November they gather around the table. Not with aunts and uncles, but with longtime friends committed to making room for each other in busy holiday-season schedules. Over the course of 30 years these gatherings of single young professionals grew to include boyfriends and girlfriends, then spouses, and then children. The thing that drew them all together year after year was their shared connection to Bryant.

Eric J. Bisighini III '80 and his wife, Lynn (Donnelly) Bisighini '81 find a variety of ways to remain connected to the Bryant community—in their social lives, at alumni events, as benefactors to current students, and now as members of the 1863 Society.

"I have returned to Bryant many times over the years," Eric says, "usually to attend alumni weekend or a Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity reunion. One of my Phi Ep brothers started a tradition of having an early Thanksgiving celebration each year at his home. Now, 30 years later it is again just the couples, with the occasional guest. And many great memories."

As students, Lynn and Eric each earned a BS in accounting. Both studied under Mickey Perlow, a standout professor of accounting in the late '70s. True to the Bryant experience, Perlow was more than just a professor. "I can still remember Mickey taking half-court basketball shots during pick-up games after class," says Eric. "But what I remember most was how he would always encourage students to look at accounting careers outside of the traditional Big 8 (now Big 4) accounting firms. His words of encouragement led me to a successful career in the insurance tax area that has continued to today."

Eric added two master's degrees and is now director of tax for Prudential Financial. Lynn has led a distinguished career including tenures at Ernst & Young and the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services, and is today president of the consulting firm, Sales Tax Professionals.

The Bisighinis have worked hard to make sure others have the opportunity to build such lasting relationships and launch successful careers. "We have chosen to give back to Bryant in many ways," Eric explains. "We have contributed annually to an endowed scholarship for a suitemate of Lynn's who passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. More recently we have joined the 1863 Society by naming Bryant University in our will. Although we hope that Bryant will need to wait a number of years before receiving our bequest, we were pleased to learn that these estate gifts can support Bryant's capital campaign today and provide financial benefit in the future."

"I encourage others to consider joining the 1863 Society," Eric says. "It is easy and it can help Bryant grow for a better tomorrow."

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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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