50th Reunion Giving

The 50th anniversary of your graduation from Bowdoin is a time to become reacquainted with the College, renew friendships, and celebrate the Bowdoin family. As you return to campus for your class reunion, we hope you will consider how your reunion gift can help make the Bowdoin experience as unique and meaningful for today’s students as it was for you.  Please visit the Gift Planning web site for more information.

Office of 50th Reunion Giving
4100 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8432

Francie Tolan
207-798-4103 | ftolan@bowdoin.edu

Profiles in Giving: Bob Lakin '68

  Bob Lakin '68
I learned quickly how gratifying it was to reach out to other alumni. Not only was I helping Bowdoin, but I reconnected with many Bowdoin friends I hadn’t spoken to in years, as we all had been busily pursuing careers and raising families. Read more about Bob Lakin '68.

Read more profiles.

What is 50th Reunion Giving?

50th Reunion Giving is a special component of Bowdoin’s development efforts that seeks increased support from 50th Reunion classes. To commemorate this milestone, class members are asked to make a meaningful gift that dovetails personal philanthropic goals with the College’s priorities. Gift crediting for the 50th Reunion gift is broadened beyond that of other reunion years, encompassing both current gifts designated for operational and capital purposes and future gifts established through estate plan provisions and other vehicles. In addition, a multi-year time frame for giving allows the 50th Reunion class to make an important impact on current academic and student life programs while also strengthening the foundation for Bowdoin’s future.

The 50th Reunion Gift creates a unique opportunity for you individually and with your class to create a lasting legacy that reflects how Bowdoin has shaped and enriched your life. We hope you will consider your 50th Reunion Gift as a significant component of your philanthropic planning.

Why will I be asked to increase my support of Bowdoin in honor of my 50th?

Giving Table

Bowdoin depends upon the generosity and spirit of each 50th Reunion class to sustain the College’s commitment to educate future leaders in all walks of life. Your gift will have an important and far-reaching impact. Everyone in your class will be encouraged to participate in the 50th Reunion Gift. Levels of support vary from person to person, but your class volunteers will ask for a “stretch” gift from every classmate. In addition to supporting the current operations of the College through the Alumni Fund, you will be asked to consider a meaningful capital gift within the 50th Reunion Giving timeframe and/or through your estate plans. Class volunteers and Bowdoin staff are available to help you explore creative ways to structure your gift to best meet your family, financial and philanthropic goals.

How will my gift be used?

Capital gifts are typically directed towards the endowment. Some classmates will choose to establish or add to their own endowed funds, specifying how the income will be used by Bowdoin. Others will give to a scholarship fund previously established by your class or make unrestricted endowment gifts. Student scholarships, faculty positions, research efforts, and academic or student life initiatives can all be supported via endowed funds; we encourage you to consider what purpose would have special meaning for you.

A capital (endowment) gift may be made with a current gift to the College or a future gift (such as the inclusion of Bowdoin in your will) or by a combination of the two. The minimum amount to establish a new endowed fund is $100,000; smaller capital gifts can be made to existing funds or may be unrestricted. A new endowed fund can be seeded with a current gift in honor of your 50th Reunion and plans can be put in place to fully fund it at a later date with additional lifetime gifts and/or through your estate.

Alumni Fund gifts help cover the annual costs of the College that are not fully covered by tuition, fees, or endowment income. The main areas of support include:

  • Financial aid, which supports current spending for scholarship grants, which are provided to nearly half of current students;
  • Academics, which supports faculty-student research, faculty enhancement, the Libraries, and Information Technology.
  • Student Life, which supports student activities, clubs, service trips, and the McKeen Center for the Common Good;
  • Arts and Culture, which supports the Museum of Art, Arctic Museum, dance performances, concerts and lectures; and
  • Environmental Stewardship, which supports research and extracurricular educational programming for green initiatives, upgrades to campus facilities, and Bowdoin’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2020.

What counts in the 50th Reunion Gift?

The 50th Reunion Gift is comprised of two separate components: current gifts which provide support to the College today and future gifts which will provide support in years to come. Please consider making a gift in both categories in honor of your 50th Reunion.

Current gifts

The timeframe for current gifts spans nine years, beginning July 1st following your 45th Reunion and continuing until June 30th of your 50th Reunion year. Pledges for gifts that will be fulfilled within the four years following your 50th Reunion are also included. Current gifts include the following:

  • Alumni Fund gifts and pledges
  • Polar Bear Athletic Fund gifts and pledges
  • Capital gifts or pledges of cash, securities, mutual funds or other liquid assets
  • Life income gifts established or pledged, including:
    • Charitable Gift Annuities (minimum gift $10,000)Charitable remainder trusts (minimum gift of $100,000 if Bowdoin is to serve as trustee) where Bowdoin’s remainder interest is irrevocable
    • Distributions or grants from charitable lead trusts, donor advised funds or family foundations
    • Estate plan gifts received by June 30th of the 50th Reunion year
    • Gifts of tangible personal property, real estate, life insurance policies or other non-liquid assets Employer matching gifts

Future Gifts

Provisions creating future gifts to the College must be established and documented by June 30th of your 50th Reunion year. Future gifts include the following:

  • Specific or residuary bequests in a will or living trust
  • Beneficiary designations for retirement accounts, bank accounts, annuities and life insurance policies
  • Revocable remainder interests in a charitable or traditional trust or a donor advised fund
  • Gifts pledged on behalf of an employee by an employer’s charitable giving program

How can I make my gift?

For current gifts, Bowdoin accepts cash, checks, credit cards and transfers of securities. Credit card gifts may be made by mail, by calling the toll-free gift line (1-888-385-2254), or by making a gift online: www.bowdoin.edu/makeagift.

For information on making a gift of securities, please call the Office of 50th Reunion Giving at 207-798-4103.

Bowdoin can also help you establish a current or future gift to support the College. Life income gift vehicles including charitable gift annuities, pooled income funds and charitable trusts provide both income for you (or your chosen beneficiaries) and a gift to the College. Unusual assets including personal property, business interests or inventory, or real estate can be used to support Bowdoin. A provision in your estate plan such as a bequest or a beneficiary designation can also be a part of your 50th Reunion Gift. We will gladly work individually with you to determine the best way to structure a planned gift to achieve your personal financial and tax planning objectives as well as your family and philanthropic goals.

Please contact the Office of 50th Reunion Giving if you would like to learn more about planned gift opportunities.   

What about corporate matching gifts?

Many companies will match employee contributions, in some cases doubling or even tripling your gift. If you are associated with a matching gift company, please obtain a matching gift form from your human resources department and send the completed form to Bowdoin with your gift.

What happens during Reunion Weekend?

Reunion offers a wide variety of events and programs for alumni and guests of all ages. There are lectures and panel discussions, performances, family activities, the Alumni Parade and Convocation, and the Saturday Reunion barbeque, as well as dinners and other events planned especially for your class. The fun begins on Thursday afternoon and continues through Sunday morning. The 50th Reunion is a particularly special milestone, so whether it’s been five years or fifty since you were last on campus, we hope you will join your classmates in Brunswick to celebrate. Visit bowdoinreunion.com/50th for the latest details.