When Lucia Whittelsey '73 was concerned about leaving her savings in the stock market, she turned to Colby. "I have more faith in Colby than I do in the stock market in general," she said.
"My father was an active alum and class agent at Haverford for many years, and I initially thought of helping to set up a fund there," Lucia said. "Then I received a mailing from Colby and took it to the next level—crunching numbers." That coincided with the beginning of the stock market downturn, which gave Lucia the additional motivation of wanting to find a safer place for her savings.
Lucia is best known around Colby as the director of financial aid, but she also personally supports Colby financial aid and established her charitable gift annuity for that purpose. "Many students don't realize that Colby can be affordable, regardless of family income level. Creating financial aid funds with a preference for specific groups of students is a way to encourage prospective students to apply to the College when, otherwise, they might not, " she said. Colby has a variety of specified financial aid funds—many donors have designated financial aid for Maine students, for example—but few for Native American students. “We need to send more messages that build our reputation in areas we think are important."
In addition to providing need-based financial assistance with a preference for Native American students, the annuity will be a source of income to Lucia when she retires. Because she was ready to make the gift but didn’t know exactly when she’ll retire, Lucia chose to establish a flexible charitable gift annuity, allowing her to select a range of future dates for starting to receive annuity payments, and she can decide later when she’d like to have the payments begin. Lucia also appreciated the immediate tax deduction at the time of the gift, and that some of her annuity will be tax-free income.
"I have made frugality a project, a form of entertainment," said Lucia. "I am interested in a life of balance, something that does not come naturally to me." She continues to enjoy and value her work at Colby and sees it as a "starfish on the beach" process: "When the tide goes out, we might not be able to help all the starfish get to the water, but we can still make a difference for some."
To learn more about how your inspired gift can make a lasting impact on generations of Colby students, please contact the Office of Gift Planning. Call Susan F. Cook ’75, P’11, at 800-809-0103, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.colby.edu/willows.