With Jerry Flanagan, It’s All Saint Michael’s All the Time
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania and raised in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, Jerry Flanagan came to Saint Michael’s College in the fall of 1967 as a first-year student, and has left campus only long enough to earn his Masters in Education from UVM in 1973.
Every morning when Jerry arrives for work he is wearing a visible reminder of his alma mater—a purple shirt, and/or a Saint Michael’s tie, or a shirt with the College’s name embroidered on it! Saint Michael’s is in his blood and that of his family as well. Four of his five children are alumni, as is his wife, Judy, who earned her Masters degree in 1992. You might even say that Jerry has two families—his biological family and his Saint Michael’s family.
In December of 2013, Jerry retired as admissions and enrollment director at Saint Michael’s College after 40 years in the position. He estimates that during that time he admitted approximately 80 percent of the College’s living alumni. An impressive record! Also impressive is that in 1973 at the very young age of 24, Jerry became the College’s assistant dean of students. In 1975, the new president asked Jerry, who was serving as Dean of Students and Director of Admissions to serve as admissions director, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to the fall of 2012 when a task force composed of alumni, trustees, faculty and staff was formed to examine the challenges facing liberal arts colleges and to determine what the landscape might look like over the next five years. This task force became known as the “SAT” or “Strategic Assessment Task Force.” Based on some of its findings, Jerry proposed an initiative that has become known as, “Advancing Opportunity: A Campaign for Saint Michael’s Students,” to help increase the amount of financial aid and scholarships available to talented applicants and current students. This is how Jerry became part of the Institutional Advancement team in December 2013 as its Senior Philanthropic Advisor.
In this role, Jerry is on the road visiting with alumni and parents, raising funds not only for the College’s current use, which is vitally important, but also talking with and encouraging donors to consider making a planned gift to Saint Michael’s. These gifts can come in many forms, including bequests in a will or trust, charitable gift annuities, or as beneficiaries of a life insurance policy or retirement fund.
Jerry says, “I would not feel comfortable asking someone to do something that I myself have not done,” so when his middle son graduated in 1998, this became the impetus to decide how he might give back to the College that has become his second home.
Jerry already had in place several life insurance policies, so he completed a change of beneficiary form with his insurance company, designating the College as a partial beneficiary of one of those policies, leaving the remainder to his wife and family. He plans to increase the amount of his gift by designating a percentage of his 401(k) to the College, as these funds will eventually pass tax free to Saint Michael’s because it is a charitable organization. When retirement plan funds pass directly to one’s heirs they are taxable at their ordinary tax rate.
Jerry maintains a close relationship with the Edmundites, the College presidents he served with, past and present trustees and the wonderful teams with which he has worked. He gets together once or twice a year with many of his 1971 classmates, whom he considers to be life-long friends. They established and continue to fund the Jimmy O’Connor ’71 Scholarship.
“Saint Michael’s has been wonderful to me and my family. It is gratifying to know that I am able to give back while also encouraging and assisting others in doing so. When I eventually do leave campus, I won’t be far away…I’ll be right across the street in the Merrill Cemetery, keeping an eye on things from there…but I hope I don’t make that move for a long time!”
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 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.