Members of Princeton's 1746 Society and a member of the Class of 2014 reflect on the importance of giving a planned gift -- and what it means to always be a part of Princeton -- at the society's May luncheon event.
Gift Planning Stories
Brian Abel Ragen *87, a professor of English at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville for 25 years until his retirement in 2013, believes that rigorous study in the humanities benefits everyone, regardless of career path. To reinforce his commitment to education, he created two graduate fellowships in English at Princeton and named the University as a beneficiary in his will.
During her undergraduate years, Sharon Holland '86 was well known on campus as an activist. “I changed Princeton and Princeton changed me,” she says. Now, she has made a bequest that honors her experience in her own unique way.
When Harvard alumnus Jim Posner was choosing a graduate school, he decided on Princeton because “Princeton was flexible, welcoming, and encouraged individual goals.” It is the same flexibility and attention to individual circumstances that Posner found in Princeton’s Office of Gift Planning when he sought a way to show his “great appreciation” to the University.
Having an IRA has long been touted as a smart retirement strategy. But while IRAs provide tax benefits during their owners’ lifetimes, they can become a tax liability when they are passed on as an inheritance. The solution? Use the funds to make a charitable gift. That’s what Mark Krosse ’72 is doing for Princeton.
Three alumni -- Huyler Held ’47, H. Dwight Neill ’54, and Mary Deibel *76 -- chose to leave a legacy to Princeton by including the University in their estate plans as the beneficiary of their IRAs. Their support honors their connection to the University while making the experiences that were so important in their lives available to others.
A substantial bequest from industrialist and philanthropist William S. Dietrich II, a member of Princeton’s Class of 1960, will endow the University’s Economic Theory Center, which has been renamed in his honor.
Paul Sittenfeld ’69’s commitment to education inspires him to help others have the same experience. He and his wife, Betsy, created a Princeton charitable lead trust to further strengthen University bonds and assist their family.
Stephanie Blackburn Freeth ’97 and Tim Freeth ’95 met and married after graduating from Princeton when both were establishing their careers. Now a family of four, they have prudently created an estate plan.