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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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