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Architectural Success Inspires Scholarship to Help Others Succeed

Walter Daniels

Walter C. Daniels '50

After a successful life that came thanks to a solid education received at Rensselaer, Walter C. Daniels '50 chose to give back by creating a scholarship fund. "My wife and I decided to set up a scholarship fund for architecture students," Walter says. "It's very rewarding for us to be able to help young people attend Rensselaer where we know they will receive a great education that prepares them to make a positive difference in the world."

"I told my four children to study what most interested them and to pursue a career that they would enjoy," Walter says. Fortunately, Walter discovered what he enjoyed at a young age, and a bachelor's degree in architecture from Rensselaer helped prepare him for a fulfilling career. "Before I was 10 years old, I was using my dad's T-square and triangle," Walter says.

After three years in military service in World War II, Walter applied to architecture school and was accepted into Rensselaer's program because of his strengths in science and math. "I had a leg up on many graduates from other architecture schools because I had a stronger engineering background," Walter says. "Time after time, when I moved from job to job, I received more responsibility sooner than others. After 18 years in architectural firms, a ‘head hunter' called me about a corporate position, which I eventually accepted. A few years later I was appointed VP of planning and construction." Walter retired in 1986 after a successful career.

During one of his annual meetings with his accountant, Walter was grousing about how much he owed the government in taxes. His accountant responded, "It seems you've been very successful. What helped you achieve that success?" To which Walter replied, "A darn good education from Rensselaer and a lot of luck."

"Since you've been successful, have you ever thought about repaying your college for the excellent education you received?" his accountant asked. "A light bulb went on and I made arrangements to talk with Art Tracy and others at RPI," Walter says.

Scholarships like the one Walter and his wife established make it possible for students to attend Rensselaer instead of going elsewhere. Approximately 90 percent of Rensselaer students receive financial assistance.

"We contribute to the fund from time to time," Walter says. "In good years, we give more, and in lean years, less. I think some people get scared off by believing they've got to give a million dollars. The amount of money isn't as important as that they support the college by giving something."

You, Too, Can Make A Difference
Contact Art Tracy '92 MS at 518-276-2561 or tracya@rpi.edu to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of Rensselaer students. There are many options available to you including gifts you make today, gifts that pay you an income and gifts through your estate.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 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 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 110 8th St., Troy, NY 12180-3590, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

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 Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer 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 Rensselaer where you agree to make a gift to Rensselaer 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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