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Planned Giving

The Ultimate Student

Scotty Wilson

Scotty Wilson '59 with friends Marc and Karen Powe

Some people are born to learn and born to teach. These people often march to the beat of their own drummer. They leave an impression that is not soon forgotten. That was certainly the case for Edward E. "Scotty" Wilson, class of 1959.

Marc and Karen Powe of Springfield, Va. shared a best friend in Scotty. They met him in 1970, bonded by their military experiences. They had an instant "we like each other" reaction, and from the moment they met, they were connected.

"That was the way it was with Scotty," said Karen. "He didn't make friends quickly, but once you were his friend, it was all-consuming."

"He might have seemed unfriendly to some," said Marc, "but I don't know any person who met him and didn't like and respect him profoundly."

When Wilson passed away in July of 2009, the Powes' relationship started with Davidson as Karen was the executor of Scotty's will. He left $1.3 million to his alma mater, which supports student scholarships.

"Through our conversations and through pictures, it was obvious that Scotty's happiest years were at Davidson," said Karen. "He was a quiet, modest man with an impressive breadth of knowledge. I'm not sure what things he didn't know, but I'm sure it wasn't much. He was the ultimate student, and he felt he owed a great deal to the place that gave him his start and also propelled him forward — Davidson."

After earning a degree in linguistics, Wilson gained a master's degree from Duke and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina. He was commissioned through ROTC, and he began his military service in 1963. His first overseas assignment was in France, and later in his career he served at NATO headquarters in Belgium. Wilson, a career military intelligence officer, serves as an advisor to the Vietnamese Army, and other overseas duty took him to Korea and Iran. He was an advisor to the Iranian Army when the February 1979 revolution overthrew the imperial regime. Wilson was among the last official Americans to be evacuated, and he got out with one suitcase and his dog.

"He was very proud of his military service," said Marc.

Following retirement from the U.S. Army, he taught French, Spanish, Latin and sometimes Italian. This next step was true to his commitment to scholarship and learning.

"We knew from things he shared with us that he was very popular with his students," said Karen. "When he died, the outpouring of love and support from the education community in Northern Virginia - the students who got in touch with us and came to see if they could have a book from his home library — it was heart-rending."

"I think he would be speechless about the impact his money has on students' lives," said Karen. "He would be so proud. In fact, one of the current recipients, Mitchell, is so much like him, it's incredible. He has mailed us letters, and they could have been written by Scotty himself."

"It's pretty amazing that with his income level as a lieutenant colonel, he was able to leave a legacy this large," said Marc. "He was very cautious with money. I don't know of anything he owned that was extravagant. Anything he over-spent on was for our daughters and grandchildren, whom he loved as his own."

"He was a quiet man with a loud impact," said Marc. Factually, Scotty was the author of the first-ever official unclassified history of Army military intelligence, and it has had an enormous impact inside the Army and among military historians.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Davidson 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

Bequest Language

I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Davidson College [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for [its unrestricted use] or [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 Davidson 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 Davidson 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 Davidson 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 Davidson where you agree to make a gift to Davidson 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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