Doug '71 & Jane Collette
Now is the Time
The wind chill was 0 degrees when Doug ’71 and Jane Collette arrived under the big clock in Boston’s historic South Station. Doug had hurried past the high-backed wooden benches and busy food shops in the “great hall” for almost 20 years on his way to and from work at Fidelity Investments. Now, just a week into retirement, he was back with Jane to talk with Sal Cania, director of gift planning about the newest part of their philanthropic plan, a charitable remainder trust. As their smiles and enthusiasm warmed the air at the table above Cosi’s restaurant, the clock and grandeur of the 110-year-old granite building added an aura of history and purpose to the conversation.
“We’re just regular people.”
Doug and Jane are from northern New York, Malone and Schroon Lake, respectively. Doug is a first generation to attend college, Jane is among the first in her immediate family to go. Doug loved Clarkson from his very first visit and loved it even more after meeting Jane on a blind date during freshman year, set up by a Malone friend who was Jane’s roommate at SUNY Potsdam. Both developed an appreciation for scholarship support, and both understood what it was like to have college loans. After graduation they moved to Rhode Island, where Jane taught and earned her master’s degree, and Doug worked for the Department of Defense. Time went by, and after jobs in private industry, they made their way to Boston. Jane’s description of them as regular people evoked the timeless values of hard work, honesty, integrity and compassion.
“It’s the way we were raised. You give back.”
The Collettes are from families of modest means. A college education allowed them to have a better life. That better life dictates that they help others now as well as those who will come after them. In addition to volunteering their time with local charities, and donating to the gifts to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness “For the Cure” campaign and the USO, Doug and Jane also give back by supporting higher education. They have been donors to the Clarkson Fund “as long as they can remember,” increasing their gifts over time. The Share Clarkson program allowed them to experience the joy of giving scholarship support to needy students. After a time they created a scholarship endowment at Clarkson, using Fidelity matching gifts to their advantage to support deserving students from northern New York.
“Now is the time.”
Doug and Jane plan their philanthropy together, and as retirement approached they decided the time was right to plan a larger gift to Clarkson. Like all of us, they need income during their retirement, so, working with Clarkson, they created a special type of charitable remainder unitrust, a “flip” unitrust that fits into their overall retirement plan. The Collettes will make gifts to the trust now and into the future, and the trust will begin making income payments back to them starting in 2014. The remainder from the trust will someday be added to the Collette Scholarship Fund to help generations of students benefit from a Clarkson education.
The Collettes plan to remain in New England for the time being, and will spend time taking road trips to enjoy the rest of the country. Education changed their lives, and now is the right time for them to ensure that higher education will be available to transform the lives of others. The rest, as they say, is history. (rev. 10/09)
Doug '71 & Jane Collette
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