Skip to Content

A Salute From the Heart


Mary Madeline Archer and Edward Archer ’56 recently established the Michael D. Archer Military Heritage Scholarship Fund.

By Mark Tarnacki

Edward Archer '56 and his wife, Mary Madeline Archer, said their recent decision to establish the Michael D. Archer Military Heritage Scholarship Fund with a $50,000 two-installment gift annuity flowed naturally from a powerful convergence of life-shaping experiences and memories.

When their son Michael, a police officer, died of cancer three years ago, Ed took time to reflect about the lifelong dedication Michael had always shown to volunteer community service. Ed and Mary Madeline felt Saint Michael's College symbolized and cultivated the same values their son had lived. So, although Michael never attended the college, his family felt a gift to the alma mater of both his father and youngest sister, Sharon Archer McCallen '92, would be an honorable way to preserve Michael's memory.

"He was the kind of person who didn't mind doing volunteer work to help the community. He lived the kind of philosophy Saint Michael's had, helping others and volunteering," Ed said. "It's something we've tried to do through our lives, and that came from my background at Saint Michael's, plus from both of our parents."

An Air Force veteran, Ed was active on behalf of Saint Michael's as a proponent of the college's Military Heritage Program to support scholarships and the building of a memorial for Saint Michael's alumni veterans. Ed said the seeds of his more substantial gift to Saint Michael's were planted during his meetings on those Military Heritage initiatives in recent years. "I had given thought to it without doing much about it," he said. "Then our son died, and that, along with the Military Heritage campaign, is what prompted us to do something as a way to remember Michael," Ed said, adding that his class's approaching 50th reunion was a factor, too.

Ed heard about gift annuities—how they can benefit both the college and the donor, providing fixed income payments for the life of one or two beneficiaries, then leaving the balance for Saint Michael's use. He talked with Susan Moses, director for planned giving, to learn more details, including the significant tax advantages of such an agreement. Ed was able to assure in the terms of his annuity agreement that his funds will benefit the program in which he has a special interest, specifically, the Military Heritage Scholarship Fund and Memorial.

Moses said gift annuities are a particularly sound way to become involved in helping Saint Michael's for anyone who wants to be part of the college's future with a gift, but needs to make some provision for income during his or her lifetime, or who could benefit from a current income tax deduction. Gift annuities can also be established on a deferred basis, whereby the donor makes the gift currently, but does not begin receiving payments until some time in the future.

In Ed's time at Saint Michael's, some Air Force ROTC was mandatory for all first-years and sophomores, and many like him continued all four years, entering the service after graduation. That is one reason he has such a strong interest in the Military Heritage program, Ed explained.

After graduation, Ed said, his liberal arts training from Saint Michael's proved to be relevant and helpful in building a successful career. Ed served in the Air Force for three years, then worked in analytical chemistry before moving into human resources, then into the "Total Quality" movement when it gained currency among business managers. Ed retired in 1994.

His strong religious faith, implanted by his family, was solidified at Saint Michael's, thanks to the opportunities provided by the Edmundites. As soon as he left the service and started his first civilian job, Ed began helping at his home parish with altar servers, CYO basketball and Boy Scouts. Today he still trains and schedules his parish's Eucharistic ministers, altar servers and lectors, and attends Mass most days.

Ed's decision-making process before making his gift was a common one. "I let it sit there and soak for a while, and finally decided to do it," he said.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address

Learn What Matters

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Saint Michael's College 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

“I give, bequeath, and devise to Saint Michael’s College, an educational organization established by law at One Winooski Park, Box 256, Colchester, Vermont 05439, whose Federal Tax ID number is 03-0179403 [here follows the dollar amount or percentage of the gift, or an accurate description of the securities, insurance policies, retirement funds, or the amount or percentage of the residual estate, or the real estate or other assets given].”

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 Saint Michael's College 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 Saint Michael's College 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 Saint Michael's College 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 Saint Michael's College where you agree to make a gift to Saint Michael's College 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.

First name is required
Last Name is required
Please include an '@' in the email address