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Dorothy (Hill) Smith ’48 and William R. Smith Maximize the Impact of Planned Gifts

The Smiths were aware of the rising cost of a college education and of the challenges facing deserving students who are unable to afford it. Dorothy (Hill) Smith ’48 and William R. Smith made the decision to leverage planned giving options at Bryant to help such students for years to come.

Dorothy established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) in 2008, which offers an immediate tax break and a source of regular income for life at a higher rate of return than most other conservative investment options. Based on the strength of the returns, the Smiths went on to set up a second CGA in both of their names and a third in Bill’s name.

“The charitable gift annuity worked to our advantage, allowing us to maintain a certain amount of income,” Bill explains.

After years of recurring payments from their charitable gift annuities, they combined the remaining assets with a bequest to create the Dorothy Smith ’48 Scholarship Fund. The Smiths thought it was important to designate the scholarship for students of particular need. Bill says that he and his late wife felt compelled “to help students who couldn’t otherwise afford the tuition.”

Dorothy graduated from Bryant College with a teaching degree, and Bill is an alumnus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who went on to a career as an electrical engineer. Demonstrating their belief in the importance of higher education and their commitment to giving back, they both found a way to support their respective alma maters while taking care of themselves in retirement.

After living and working in upstate New York, the Smiths relocated to Vero Beach, Florida. Escaping the unpredictable winds of the northeast, Bill earned his pilot’s license and the Smiths took flights around the eastern U.S. in their own airplane for a half-dozen years.

Owing to their generosity, Bill is a member of the Bryant Leadership Council and the 1863 Society. The Smiths stayed connected by attending alumni events in Florida over the years. With its support for students, the Dorothy Smith ’48 Scholarship has the additional benefit of promoting the top priority of Expanding the World of Opportunity: The Campaign for Bryant’s Bold Future.

Bill recalls that Dorothy sustained friendships with her classmates well past her days on campus, and he succinctly sums up her Bryant experience: “She was very happy to have gone there.”

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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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