He called the switchboard and asked for someone in gift and estate planning. He was not an alumnus. He was a widower. He had no real connection with Xavier, but wanted to leave it in his will. And he did. When this anonymous friend of Xavier’s died in April at age 83, his gifts reached about $1 million—plus a 2006 Honda Civic hybrid showing 2,800 miles.
“He called us and initiated the conversation,” says Kathann Koehler, director for gift and estate planning. “All he wanted to do was leave us in his will.”
The man lived simply, and there were no indications of how much money he had. But he ultimately took out four charitable gift annuities totalling $1 million. Under this arrangement, the University pays interest on the gift for the life of the individual. It turned out to be a winning proposition all around.
“We were able to actually increase his cash flow and better his lifestyle,” Koehler says. “I don’t think he ever dreamed he could do any better than CDs, but we were able to pay him a better rate than the bank could.”
He was a chemical engineer, Koehler says, so much of his gift is going toward scholarships in the chemistry department. His reason for giving: “He thought we did good work here.”