A Salute From the Heart
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.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.