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Trailblazing Alumnus Remembers His Beginnings at Rensselaer

Matt Patsky

"I applied to RPI based on the reputation of the quality of the graduates," says Matthew W. Patsky, CEO and senior portfolio manager at Trillium Asset Management Corporation.

But just like many outstanding students today, the cost of education stood as an obstacle between Matthew and a college degree. Fortunately, Rensselaer could offer him financial aid thanks to generous alumni and friends. "When it came to choosing a school, I had a financial need, and RPI met it," he says.

To show his gratitude, Matthew has given to the school's annual fund for the past 25 years. He also plans on establishing a permanent scholarship in memory of his maternal grandfather, William Freeman Conner. He will fund the scholarship though his estate as well as through gifts he plans on making in his lifetime. This plan offers him flexibility and the assurance that his impact at Rensselaer will continue well beyond his lifetime.

"Thinking about my experience as a student with financial need made me decide that I should donate to the school to ensure that other students who are in a similar situation have their needs met," Matthew says.

Since graduating from Rensselaer with a bachelor's degree in economics, Matthew has built a reputation as an expert in socially and environmentally responsible investing. "RPI helped me to develop an analytical approach for developing practical solutions to real-life problems," he says. "The biggest part of my job is spreading the message that it is absolutely possible to do well and to do good."

Rensselaer graduates have been applying science to the common purposes of life since 1824. You, too, can lend a hand to other exceptional students by establishing your own scholarship in honor of a loved one or as an expression of your own legacy. Please contact Art Tracy at (518) 276-2561 or tracya@rpi.edu today to discuss the different ways you can accomplish this meaningful gift.

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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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