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With Jerry Flanagan, It’s All Saint Michael’s All the Time

Jerry Flanagan

Jerry Flanagan gives back to the Saint Michael’s College through his estate.

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.

Impressive Record
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.

New Role
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.

Giving Back
“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!”

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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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