What is Planned Giving?

Planned Giving is a way to support Wesleyan University in the future through arrangements you make today.

A planned gift allows you to make charitable gifts, continue to meet your current income needs, and take advantage of current tax incentives. With your help and the help of tens of thousands of Cardinals, Wesleyan will continue to deliver the highest quality educational experience to exceptional scholars. Every gift, no matter the amount, is deeply appreciated.

This site is designed to make it easy for you to get the information you need when considering a planned gift. You will also find information to share with your financial advisor and estate planner. When you are ready, you can use this site to reach out to us to share your plans, let us know what you are considering, or just to start a confidential, no obligation conversation about what's possible.

Olin Legacy Society

An Invitation to Join the Olin Legacy Society

Those who remember Wesleyan University in a will, trust, or other legacy gift are welcomed into the Olin Legacy Society. Planned gifts of all sizes help support scholarships, faculty development, campus improvements, and special programs at Wesleyan.

The most straightforward way to become a member of the Olin Legacy Society is to name Wesleyan as a beneficiary of your retirement account or as a beneficiary in your will or trust. Sample bequest language will help you complete your plans.

Other planned gifts might include charitable income gifts, such as charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder unitrusts, or gifts of life insurance.

If you've included Wesleyan in your charitable plans or intend to do so, please let us know. Sharing your intentions allows us to help you choose the gift that's right for you, and better plan for Wesleyan's future.

A Tradition of Giving

Olin Legacy Society owes its name to one of Wesleyan's most honored trustees, Stephen H. Olin, who with his wife, Emeline H. Olin, nurtured the growth of the University into a leading institution. Olin Library, an architectural gem and wellspring of the University's intellectual life, was constructed largely with funds derived from an annuity agreement the Olins made with the institution in 1924.

Stephen Henry Olin's benefactions stemmed from a lifetime association with Wesleyan. Born on the campus in 1847 during his father, Stephen's, Wesleyan presidency, he graduated in the Class of 1866 and became a successful copyright law attorney in New York City. During his lifetime, Olin dedicated 45 years of service as a trustee to the University, assuming the post of acting president for the 1922-23 academic year.

Following her husband's death in 1925, Emeline Harriman Olin demonstrated her lively ongoing concern for the University. Residing in the brick house next to Eclectic, she took a deep interest in the construction of the new library, later endowing maintenance of the building with a major gift. Wesleyan awarded her an honorary degree in 1931.

The Olin Legacy Society has taken as its emblem the scallop shell found on the coat-of-arms of John Wesley. Used in heraldry to signify long journeys to far countries, the scallop shell is a symbolic link to the tradition of social service for which Wesleyan is well known. The much-traveled Wesley started a religious movement in 18th century Britain that stimulated a wide range of social reform movements, reaching full flower in the 19th century. Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 as an enterprise to educate youth for "the good of the world," a goal that endures today.

Privileges of Membership

Olin Legacy Society members enjoy the tremendous satisfaction of knowing that their support will play an important role in the future growth and success of the University and in helping students and faculty whose lives they touch. In addition, Olin members are accorded the following benefits:

  • Membership pin bearing the insignia of the Olin Legacy Society
  • Invitation to special on-campus events at Homecoming and Reunion
  • Latest information available on financial and estate planning

In addition to these expressions of gratitude, we hope you will allow us to recognize you as a member of the Olin Legacy Society members in certain publications. Your commitment to Wesleyan in this way encourages others to join in this important effort.

To receive proper recognition and credit for your generosity as members of the Olin Legacy Society, please provide the University with documentation of your commitment, including purpose and amount, if possible.

How to Give

Not only do you have options for how your gift will be used, you also have options on what to give and how to give. There are gifts that cost you nothing now, gifts that pay you income, and gifts that allow you to decide what happens when.

Beneficiary Designations
Retirement Assets and other Funds

Naming Wesleyan University as the beneficiary of a retirement plan asset such as an IRA, 401(k), or 403(b), will accomplish a charitable goal while realizing a significant tax savings.

Gifts from Your Will
Bequests

Through a provision in your written and executed will or living trust you can make a gift to Wesleyan University in the form of cash, securities, real estate or personal property. There are many types of bequests. Consult with your attorney to choose the one that best fits your needs and intentions.

Life Income Gifts
Charitable Gift Annuities

You can turn underperforming assets (cash, stock, CDs, savings bonds, etc.) into a gift to Wesleyan University that provides income to you or you and a loved one. Your Wesleyan Charitable Gift Annuity will return fixed, quarterly payments for life and provide tax benefits, too.

Gifts of Appreciated Assets
Buy Low. Give High.

When you donate appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares instead of cash, your gift costs you less than the amount Wesleyan University receives. You'll get a charitable deduction for the full amount of your gift and avoid the impact of capital gains taxes.

Charitable IRA Rollover
Make a Tax-Free Gift from Your IRA

If you're 70-1/2 or older, each year, you can instruct your IRA administrator to transfer all or part of your required minimum distribution (up to $100,000) directly to Wesleyan and avoid paying the tax had you taken it as income.

Gifts of Real Property
Real Estate and Other Valuables

Like stock, the fair market value of gifts of appreciated assets such as real estate, artwork, and other well curated collections can be deducted from your income tax today, avoid capital gains, and reduce estate taxes in the future. There are even ways to donate your home and live there as long as you'd like.

Donor Advised Funds

Name Wesleyan University as a beneficiary of your donor advised fund. Designate us to receive all or a portion of the balance of your fund through your fund administrator (you can also make a grant to us at any time from your donor-advised fund). The balance in your fund passes to Wesleyan when the fund terminates.

Gifts Through Trusts

Charitable Remainder Trusts provide you income from an asset that then passes to Wesleyan University as a gift. Charitable Lead Trusts provide income to Wesleyan before the asset passes to your heirs. For the savvy donor, charitable trusts can provide tax-advantaged income, eliminate capital gains, or preserve assets for your heirs.

Gifts of Life Insurance

Name Wesleyan University as the beneficiary of an existing life insurance policy; donate an existing, paid-up life insurance policy you no longer need; or purchase a new life insurance policy and name Wesleyan University as the owner and beneficiary.

Donor Stories

Let’s Talk

Planning your estate and legacy for future generations including your charitable interests takes careful evaluation.

Discussing your charitable intentions with us can lead to a much better result than going it alone - and will ensure that your gift is used just as you wish. Act now to be a good steward of the resources you intend to leave behind. You can use my contact info below, or submit this form to get more information.



Contact Us

Wesleyan University

University Relations
  • 318 High Street
    Middletown, CT 06459
Office of Gift Planning
  • (860) 685-5775

Mark Davis '96
Director of Gift Planning
Wesleyan University
mdavis@wesleyan.edu
Office phone: 860-685-3660

Marianne Calnen
Associate Director of Gift Planning
Wesleyan University
mcalnen@wesleyan.edu
Office phone: 860.685.5775