Johnston Estate Provides Substantial Scholarship Assistance to Wesleyan

For over forty years, the late Alaire Geraldine "Geri" Ice Johnston '37 and her late husband, Colonel Henry "Hank" R. Johnston from Arlington, VA, supported West Virginia Wesleyan through financial contributions and special relationships with members of the campus community.

Their devotion culminated recently, when the College received a bequest gift approaching $1.2 million from Mrs. Johnston's estate for the support of scholarships-particularly the assistance of academically talented, financially needy students from West Virginia.

James Owrey '02, director of planned giving, noted that "in private higher education, there are gifts which benefit annual operations. Then, there are gifts which truly enable us to transform the future for our students. This measure of philanthropy by Geri and Hank Johnston will long support young scholars at West Virginia Wesleyan. We are humbled by this wonderful provision for deserving West Virginia students and touched by the warm legacy left by the Johnstons."

Born in 1916 in Salem, Geri spent most of her formative years in Harrison County and Marion County. While a student at Wesleyan, Geri reveled in the experience and often remarked of the "green hills of home." She pursued three areas of study-English, history, and education, and also maintained a special interest in the arts.

Hank hailed from Marion County, claiming Mannington as his birthplace. He attended Fairmont State Teachers College and shortly after his college graduation, the two were married. Hank joined the United States Air Force, ultimately becoming a Colonel. During his tenure of service, he traveled extensively to Europe and the Far East, including China and Vietnam. Even in retirement, Geri and Hank were ardent travelers, both in the States and abroad. Although they loved young people, ironically, the Johnstons never had children of their own.

While the Johnston's bequest gift signified a commitment to West Virginia students, the husband and wife pair also took a vested interest in international students matriculating at Wesleyan. During the 1990's, Geri and Hank graciously supported the Johnston-Ice-Locher Scholarship Fund, to the end of attracting and retaining talented foreign students to Wesleyan, including a Vietnamese student, Emilie Hoang Roberts '01 now of Washington, DC.

Recognizing the significance of the gift, college officials are planning for ongoing and perpetual administration of the scholarship funds. "We are truly grateful for this tremendous gift," remarked President Pamela Balch '71. This scholarship endowment will provide financial access to many future West Virginia students."

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to West Virginia Wesleyan 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 give to West Virginia Wesleyan College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Buckhannon, WV, or its successor thereto, ______________* [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 WVWC 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 WVWC as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 WVWC 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 WVWC where you agree to make a gift to WVWC 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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