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Planned Giving

Inspiring Lifelong Learning: Kurt '69 and Martha (Campbell) Adamson '69

Donor Adamson

Kurt and Marty Adamson in Kyoto, Japan

Inspiring Lifelong Learning: Kurt '69 and Martha (Campbell) Adamson '69

Though they studied on campus at Kalamazoo College "together" for two years, Kurt and Marty never met until their ocean voyage home from study abroad in Europe.

Today, Kurt and Marty Adamson have been married for more than 44 years.

Both of them studied in Germany. "Riding back on the ship gave us time to recover and reflect on our experiences," Marty says. She studied at the University of Bonn, taking regular classes inside the campus community. "It gave me insights into German culture."

While in Münster, Germany, Kurt says, "I had the chance to meet Dr. Gunther Spaltmann," whom he describes as "a true Renaissance man." An academic and artist, Spaltmann worked as a professor at K and served as head of the foreign study program in Münster.

After graduating from K, Kurt and Marty both earned master's degrees in library science and went on to work as librarians. Before retiring, Kurt taught at Southern Methodist University and served as Associate Director for Collection Development at the Underwood Law Library, and Marty was Director of Libraries for Collin College. "Working for colleges and universities ourselves," Marty says, "makes us aware of the importance of an endowment. A strong endowment allows the College to be flexible and respond to different economic situations."

"Giving to Kalamazoo College is our attempt to give back to an institution that has given so much to us," Kurt says.

When it came to making their gift to support The Campaign for Kalamazoo College, Kurt and Marty wanted to make a gift that would reach everyone. In each of their wills, they created a bequest to support library staff in their professional development at the College. "Since we're librarians, we want to support the library and its staff, and, in turn, the library supports all the students on campus," Marty says.

For Kurt and Marty, their experiences at K "fueled a lifelong interest in travel and learning," Marty says. Among other places, they have traveled to India, Kenya, Egypt, Australia, and recently Kyoto, Japan.


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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Kalamazoo College 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Kalamazoo College [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 K 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 K 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 K 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 K where you agree to make a gift to K 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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