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It's Never Too Early to Provide for Saint Michael's...Just Ask John Hahn '75


Eleanor '14 and John Hahn '75 share a love for St. Michael's College.

John Hahn'75 has fond memories of his time at Saint Michael's College. He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so at the very early age of 43, he and wife, Lisa made a bequest intention in their will, naming Saint Michael's as a beneficiary. The bequest is in the form of an endowment to support Fine Arts here at the College, and was made in honor of their wedding anniversary.

"The seed for this bequest was planted over a number of years by former Associate VP of Alumni Relations & Development, Rit DiVenere, and reinforced by former College President Marc vanderHeyden, both of whom encouraged alums to think about providing for the College's future when making their estate plans," John says.

In 1996, he and Lisa had been married for a number of years and had two children, Eleanor and Tim. They were planning a vacation (without the children) that involved flying, so they did the responsible thing and drafted their wills. If something were to happen to them, they wanted to ensure that their children's future would be secure. John says, "When you are writing your will, it gets you thinking about the end of life and putting your affairs in order. It is also a good time to think about the family and special places that are important to you and that you want to provide for after you're gone."

Some of John's fondest memories involve the "Boys of Ryan Hall" and the good times they shared. They stay close and see each other once or twice a year, and support each other in difficult times. It is these life-long friendships — this camaraderie of 39 years — for which John is most grateful.

John, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, started with the store he ran from his room in Ryan Hall, selling sodas and candy. He called it "Alfred E" in honor of his idol, Alfred E. Mann. He is currently Partner (with wife, Lisa) & CFO of Caugherty Hahn Communications, Inc., an independent Public Relations Agency in Glen Rock, NJ.

He fondly remembers springtime softball games on the lawn behind Lyons Hall — now the Durick Library, and going to UVM to watch Marx Brothers movies. "One of the best things about Saint Mike's is that you felt you knew almost everyone on campus," John says. Some of John's favorite professors were Nick Clary, Bill Wilson (with whom he hiked Mt. Mansfield), and Ed Foley (now deceased).

John is very proud of daughter, Eleanor, who will graduate from Saint Michael's in June. She too lived in Ryan Hall as a first-year student, and recently volunteered at Covenant House in NYC during her spring break. For the Hahns, Saint Michael's is a "family affair!"

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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.

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