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Alum's Gift Honors Dad's Efforts to Send Him to Rensselaer

Chet and Madeline Vogel

Chet and Madeline Vogel

As a high school student, Chet Vogel '58 thought Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was a perfect fit.

"I could see that RPI was dedicated to an academic schedule," Chet says. "I didn't want to be distracted. Studying and getting good grades didn't come easy to me."

But Chet's SAT verbal score did not meet Rensselaer's threshold. He was turned down twice but then received a letter admitting him on probation. He learned later that his father had lobbied Rensselaer on his behalf.

Chet graduated in 1958 with a 3.1 GPA, and Rensselaer's placement office helped him land a job at what is now Johnson Controls Inc. This job provided a gateway into the construction industry. Chet stayed in construction throughout his career, including owning and becoming managing principal of several consulting engineering companies.

Expanding Opportunity
Chet and his wife, Madeline, established an endowed fund at Rensselaer to honor Chet's father's memory.

"Since RPI provided a steady means of getting myself through college, I decided I wanted to help others," Chet says.

The endowed fund directly supports the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) course taught each fall for the past six years in the School of Engineering, where Chet participates each week as the Guest Lecturer.

"I had been trying over my 50-plus years in the New York construction industry to develop an awareness at RPI for the opportunities in the construction industry," he says. "It's not only a place where you can get a job, but it's a place where you can get a job for the rest of your life. The HVAC Course, with 25 to 30 students each year, meets this goal," he says.

In addition to Madeline and Chet's annual Patroon gift, Chet has planned a gift to the fund through his will and is attracting additional support for the fund from others who understand the importance of teaching HVAC at Rensselaer, a premier technological university.

You can create a lasting legacy at Rensselaer by making a gift though your will or through a beneficiary designation. Please visit our website for suggested legal language.

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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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