Giving Back to St. Michael's a 'Win-Win'
By: Mark Tarnacki, Staff Writer
Will Infantine '86 was a noble Knight twice over in the early 1990s when he made a gift to Saint Michael's College of a $30,000 Knights of Columbus life insurance policy.
A Third Degree Knight in the Catholic fraternal service organization that offered the policy, Will says the core life values behind his gift took solid root during his Saint Michael's Purple Knights days. "To me this was a win-win since I could buy a policy that contributes to the K of C and make St. Mike's a beneficiary, so both Catholic agencies benefit," he says. "One reason I give back to Saint Michael's is because it helped mold me both as a businessman and as an individual." Today Will is a successful Manchester, N.H., insurance executive and veteran Republican state lawmaker in his home state.
With the type of insurance gift Will chose, Saint Michael's is both the owner and beneficiary of the policy. To support payment of premiums on that policy, Will makes quarterly tax-deductible contributions equal to the premium amount to the College.
It was the beauty of the Saint Michael's campus on a winter's day and the polite, friendly people he met that sold Will on the College when he made his first visit as a New Hampshire high school senior. "I was looking for a business education and preferred to stay with a Catholic institution," he adds.
Some of his favorite college memories were fun-filled road trips as a club rugby player, a massive snowstorm a week before P-Day one year, evening Masses in the chapel, Thursday TV nights in the Ratskeller campus pub, a semester studying abroad in London, serving as sophomore class vice president, Hurricane Gloria blowing through Vermont, and a particularly epic ski day on two fresh feet of powder. He's also grateful to his business professor, the late George Fortune, for conveying so much practical knowledge that has been very important in Will's business career.
"What I learned best at St. Mike's was how to learn, and I learned to deal with people," he says. "I was relatively sheltered growing up in small-town New Hampshire, but at St. Mike's I got to meet people with different issues, or who maybe had tragedies in their lives or who were from different walks of life - some good to deal with, some difficult -but in real life you have to learn to deal with both."
Will still remembers how his case study for a senior, two-semester business management class was planning a peanut butter factory. Planning involved "everything from human resources to manufacturing to production, and it gave me my first real understanding of the whole business process." he says. "It opened my eyes to the nuts and bolts of a business, how everything comes together." He applies a lot of those insights directly to the operation of his insurance business, Will says.
As a New Hampshire state legislator, Will repeatedly finds himself grateful for his broader liberal arts background from Saint Mike's since he's called on to understand such a wide array of issues, "bills from education to criminal justice to science and technology."
His volunteer support of Saint Michael's has evolved steadily through the years: An early job in his career took him to San Antonio, Texas, where he hosted some alumni events and even a visit from the College president while helping to recruit students. Since returning home to New Hampshire many years ago, Will has served as chair of his local alumni club, helped with College fairs and supported the campaign to fund the new Fire and Rescue Station. Will and his wife, Christine, have two daughters, ages 13 and 11, and he says he would be pleased for either of them to attend Saint Michael's and will encourage them to give the College a close look.
"While I was fortunate enough not to need it when I was a student, I know Saint Mike's provides substantial financial aid for students and that's important to support. I also know if students do well at St. Mike's, they'll do well in the business world and be able to give back, which is something we should all try to do," he says. "Also, you can't forget the many things the College does to help the community. I would just say to my fellow alumni that if you donate to Saint Michael's, the money is very well spent - I wouldn't have any worries about that."
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