Skip to Content

A Gift Nearly 70 Years in the Making

Bob and Ann Lyon

Bob Lyon and wife, Ann, have
included Rensselaer in their future
plans, ensuring their support for
Rensselaer continues even after their

Even as a young man it seemed that Robert "Bob" Lyons '50 was destined to fly, going above and beyond in whatever he endeavored.

Bob was the fourth of six children in his family. It was the Great Depression and none of his three older siblings had gone to college, so he was very surprised to learn that his math teacher had given his name to Rensselaer as a prospective student. Bob had never heard of Rensselaer at the time, but he decided to apply and was accepted.

During his second year at Rensselaer, Bob was drafted into the armed forces and became part of a B-20 bomber crew that flew several 14-hour nighttime missions over Japan during WWII.

After the war, Bob returned stateside and graduated from Rensselaer in January 1950 with a B.S. in Management Engineering. He joined Bilco, his father's manufacturing business, where he devised product improvements and designed new products that helped the company become well known in the architectural and building construction field. Bob eventually retired as chairman of the board.

"I've always felt my Rensselaer education was responsible for my ability to design and develop helpful products, to create a successful business and to enjoy a wonderful life," Bob says.

Nearly 70 years later, Bob's Rensselaer experience remains pivotal in his life, and he is forever grateful.

"It really affected my entire life," he says.

As thanks for this life-changing education, and wanting to open similar doors of opportunity, Bob recently created the Ann and Robert J. Lyons '50 Scholarship for Rensselaer engineering students. "It was very easy," Bob says of the entire process.

Working with Art Tracy, Rensselaer's director of gift planning, Bob established the scholarship by taking advantage of the IRA charitable rollover, a qualified charitable distribution of IRA funds. He also used appreciated stocks to fund a charitable gift annuity (CGA).

A CGA offers benefits for both parties, as Rensselaer will make fixed payments to Bob and his wife for life and add the remainder to their scholarship fund.

There are many ways to leave a lasting legacy at Rensselaer. Contact Art Tracy '92 MS today 518-276-2561 or to discuss your options.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.