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In Loving Memory of a Loving Marriage


"People talk about marriage being work, but it wasn't for a day with Gretchen," says Harold "Hal" Schindler Jr. '54. "We had a fabulous relationship." Hal and Gretchen met in Hal's sophomore year at RPI. "I really enjoyed the whole campus life," Hal says. "The academics were excellent and prepared me to deliver on the job."

After graduation, Hal spent two years in the army before returning home to marry his sweetheart and start his career. He worked at a few different employers, including IBM, before taking a position at Kodak where he worked on machine design and automation until retirement.

Gretchen and Hal enjoyed a full and fun life together including having four children, traveling, and simply enjoying everyday life. Sadly Gretchen passed away in 2013 following a five-year struggle with dementia.

In her honor, Hal made a charitable gift annuity to RPI, which will be used for a permanent fund in Gretchen's name to support Alzheimer's research at Rensselaer. "I read about Professor Peter Tessier's work in the area of chemical and biological engineering," Hal says. "I wanted to support it because the thrust of the research is on the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer's.

"I've had a really wonderful life with my wife of 57 years, and a lot of it wouldn't have been possible without the education at RPI," Hal says.

You can partner with Rensselaer to make a better future by participating in our gift annuity program. Your gift will help educate future generations of Rensselaer graduates who will "apply science to the common purposes of life." Please contact Art Tracy '92 MS at or 518-276-2561 to learn more.

eBrochure Request Form

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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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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

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