Kenyon inaugurates Scholarship Day celebration at Homecoming
O n Saturday, September 26, during Homecoming Weekend 1998, the College held its first Scholarship Day to recognize the generosity of Kenyon's scholarship donors and the importance of financial-aid funds.
"Each year, we do our best to provide status reports to the friends and alumni who have so generously provided scholarships to the College," said President Robert A. Oden Jr. in explaining the purpose of the event. "We feel, however, that these reports fall short of conveying our gratitude for these scholarship contributions and of recognizing the significance of these gifts in the lives of Kenyon students and the College community. For this reason, we are offering this program to give scholarship contributors an in-depth look at the role scholarships play in enabling Kenyon to enroll academically talented students from a wide variety of cultural and economic backgrounds."
The day began with a morning reception in the lobby of Olin Library, where Oden welcomed returning scholarship contributors. Representatives of eleven scholarships attended, including trustee William E. Bennett '68 for the Bennett Family Scholarship; Dean of Students Emeritus Thomas J. Edwards, in whose honor the Thomas J. Edwards Scholarship Fund was established, and his wife, Gloria Edwards; Alan E. Goldsmith '73 and John A. Goldsmith '42 representing contributors to the Philip Blair Rice Scholarship; and Gambier community member Florence L. Short, representing the Florence P. Lincoln Scholarship Fund. The program continued in Olin Auditorium with remarks from Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid John W. Anderson, who reviewed the admissions selection process and emphasized the role financial aid plays in it. While acknowledging that the College's beautiful campus, dedicated faculty, and well-maintained facilities play a significant role in attracting excellent students from around the world, he declared that "it would not be an exaggeration to say it has been Kenyon's ability to provide financial aid to increasing numbers of deserving, financially needy, and intellectually gifted young men and women from diverse backgrounds that has had the most profound impact on our growth in academic stature." Anderson noted that, fifteen years ago, the College was able to provide financial aid to less than 30 percent of its students, while today almost 50 percent of the student body receives need-based or merit-based financial aid, an increase he attributes to the generosity of Kenyon's alumni and friends. He told the donors, "Key among the reasons for our success is you and the many others who so love and believe in the College."
Anderson's comments were followed by Comptroller Teri L. Leonard's explanation of how Kenyon manages its endowed scholarship funds. She pointed out that financial aid is the largest item in the College's budget, noting that for the 1998-99 fiscal year Kenyon anticipates spending more than $11.1 million on financial aid. Of that amount, about $2.5 million will be directed to merit scholarships and $8.6 million to need-based aid. Director of Financial Aid Craig A. Daugherty concluded the informational part of the program with a discussion of how scholarships are assigned to students through a multi-step process.
Following a brief question-and-answer period, Oden introduced Kara M. McClurken '99 of Charlottesville, Virginia, who spoke on what receiving a scholarship from the College has meant to her. "When it was time to choose which college to attend, money made the difference," she explained. "My parents could only afford a state school, but Kenyon offered me both academic and financial-aid scholarships. It made the difference between going to a school where I was just a number to one where I had a name and a face."
McClurken emphasized the impact that coming to the College has had on her life. "I do not think I could have grown into the person I am now. I wouldn't have taken the same risks, or become as independent. I wouldn't even have made the same career choice. The ability to come to Kenyon, because of others' generosity, has changed my entire world."
The program concluded with a viewing of the College's new campaign video, "Claiming Our Place." The participants then moved to Peirce Lounge for photographs and lunch with the scholarship recipients and Visiting Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence P.F. Kluge '64 (himself a Kenyon scholarship recipient), Associate Professor of Mathematics Carol S. Schumacher, and Professor of History Roy T. Wortman.
In his closing remarks, Oden pointed out that the occasion was the first of what will henceforth be an annual event. Next year's Scholarship Day will be held on Saturday, October 2.
Bob Hesse '52 leads scholarship endowment effort through planned giving
T he Class of 1952 is well on its way to creating a significant legacy for Kenyon as part of its forthcoming fiftieth reunion," says Robert L. Hesse '52, an attorney who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Sarasota, Florida. Hesse is serving as co-chair of this special effort with Frederick C. Neidhardt '52, a professor in the medical school at the University of Michigan.
"We wish to establish a permanent fund of $2 million, the income from which will be used to provide aid to promising students who will be known through the years as Class of 1952 Scholars."
What is unusual about this effort is the emphasis being given to "planned" or "deferred" gifts. "Outright gifts of cash are best, of course, for getting our fund up and running, but many members of our class are not in a position to give away large sums of cash; we need income to pay bills." So Bob is encouraging his classmates to consider making gifts that are committed irrevocably to Kenyon now but which retain specific income benefits for the donors. "Such deferred gifts are authorized by the Internal Revenue Code to produce tax benefits and lifetime income to donors, and they are wonderful ways for us to offer substantial support to the College."
Deferred gifts to Kenyon include Charitable Gift Annuities, issued by the College, and contributions to Kenyon's Pooled Income Fund, managed currently by Bank One Trust Company. There are also various types of charitable trusts that can be established through Kenyon or through one's local banking institution.
"For my own particular goals, I found the charitable trust the best way to go. One can take appreciated assets and transfer them to the trust without incurring a capital-gains tax. Often it is this tax that discourages us from selling assets, even when those assets are producing little or no income. Because no tax is incurred in the transfer, the entire proceeds can be invested by the trust. The donor receives an immediate income-tax deduction, and in the case of a charitable unitrust, the donor also receives an annual income based on a stated percentage of the trust fund, as evaluated each year. Most contributors reserve 7 or 8 percent of the assets as annual distributions, which means that the distributions will increase as the value of the trust increases.
"From our gift, my wife and I will enjoy annual distributions for our respective lives, following which the principal of the trust will pass to Kenyon for the scholarship fund.
"There are many advantages to these charitable devices for both the donor and the College. This is one of the few instances where you can give something away and still continue to receive the benefit from it."
Hesse encourages people to consult with their financial advisors, who should know about the advantages of making "life-income" gifts, or to call Kenyon's planned-giving officer--ask for Russ Geiger at
1-800-KENYONC (536-9662)--for information on how to proceed.
"By the time we all get together for our fiftieth reunion in 2002, we will have reached our goal, and we will have established something for the College of lasting value. Just imagine if there had been a Class of 1852 Scholarship. A whole century of Kenyon students would have been helped. And can you imagine what even $1,000 invested in the endowment at the beginning of this century would be worth today? As a class, we're doing our part to take care of the College's future--because its past has meant so much to all of us."
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