Making a Gift Tomorrow, Honoring Family Needs Today
Though Rich Bollam '66 switched careers a few years after he graduated, and no longer uses his Rensselaer degree professionally, he remains very appreciative of his Rensselaer education as well as the positive influence of the Institute on the region's economy.
To show his appreciation, Bollam contributes to the Annual Fund and included a bequest to Rensselaer in his estate plans (a great way to support students beyond his lifetime). He also has served Rensselaer in a variety of volunteer roles and is a member of the Palmer C. Ricketts Society of lifetime Patroons.
"In supporting Rensselaer, I am not only supporting my alma mater, I'm supporting the economy of the local area," says Bollam, a senior partner in the Albany-based CPA firm of Bollam, Sheedy, Torani & Co. LLP. "Rensselaer and its affiliated Technology Park is an economic engine in this area—one of the major economic engines."
For a few years after graduation, Bollam worked as an engineer. He then entered an MBA program, choosing a concentration in finance. Bollam's financial expertise led him to become reinvolved with Theta Chi, his Rensselaer fraternity, when the fraternity needed help with renovation financing in the late 1980s. This, in turn, led to his increased involvement with the Rensselaer Alumni Association.
"My experiences at Rensselaer had a lifelong impact," Bollam says. "I got a Rensselaer scholarship for a couple of years. I met my wife, Stephanie, through my fraternity. And I always felt I needed to give back.
"When I made this bequest it was the easiest way to make a Patroon-level gift without putting pressure on the financial demands of my kids' college tuition at that time.
"The things that Rensselaer is doing today," Bollam says, "are moving it to the top tier of national research institutions. To compete at that level, we need stronger support from alums to build the endowment.
"I feel putting Rensselaer in your will is a very effective way to help your alma mater moving forward."