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The Gift of Song


Fifty years have passed since Tom Robinson's days singing with the Saint Michael's Glee Club. But with a recent major life insurance gift, he and his wife Nancy hit a high note for both the College and the couple's sound financial future.

Tom grew up on Long Island and chose Saint Michael's on a football coach's recommendation, with an initial interest in its pre-engineering program. But he discovered he really liked chemistry and stayed to complete his bachelor's in that field instead.

Some of Tom's best college memories were from time spent singing in the glee club and chorale under then-director John Donahue.

Paired With Satchmo
"We recorded with 'Satchmo' [Louis Armstrong] at Memorial Auditorium when he played there and I was in charge of ticket sales for the concert," Tom remembers. "I even went backstage and met him. We sang, 'When the Saints Go Marching In' with him, and I still have a record made from that concert."

Tom says he stayed in touch through the years with Dr. Tortolano, who is still an active emeritus music professor, organist and conductor in the Burlington area. Such enriching Saint Michael's experiences inspired and shaped the Robinsons' $150,000 commitment to the College to fund the Thomas and Nancy Robinson '62 Music Fund.

Using Life Insurance To Give Back
Tom says that in their estate planning, he and Nancy realized they wanted to make meaningful gifts to their colleges and the churches that they attend that have had an impact on their lives, while at the same time providing for their two children. Working with their financial advisor, the Robinsons purchased new life insurance policies and named each of their favorite charities as owner and beneficiary of a policy.

Tom will continue to make contributions to the College on an annual basis to cover the insurance premium cost, which will be tax-deductible and offset income that Tom is now required to take from his retirement plan.

A gift of life insurance can allow you to make a sizable impact on advancing the mission of the College without diluting other assets earmarked for your family and loved ones. "If you have a desire to play an important role in supporting us, you may be surprised to learn how life insurance can help fulfill your philanthropic goals," says Susan Moses, gift planning officer.

What Comes Around
Tom's job brought them to California's Bay Area decades ago, and they liked it so much that they stayed for retirement. He has attended most alumni events in his region and makes a point of coming east for class reunions as often as possible. His regular, generous gifts have made him a Medallion Society member since 1991.

Sharing their gifts with the world has been part of the Robinsons' lives for a long time. Ever since they retired on the same day in 1998, they have traveled widely, including volunteer projects in Honduras through Nancy's church on several trips. Tom is also very involved with the International Lions Club's eyeglass-recycling initiative through his local chapter, where he served as president.

Take Action
We sincerely thank Tom and Nancy Robinson for supporting Saint Michael's through their gift of life insurance. Interested in making a gift of life insurance? Click here to learn more about the benefits of this gift type.

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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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