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Living the Dream and Giving Thanks

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Spring 2014

“I wanted to give something that would represent a serious ‘give-back’.” That’s how Al Poskanzer ’69 described his and wife Linda’s decision to create a charitable gift annuity at Clarkson. Al spoke recently with Sal Cania, director of gift planning. The setting was a typically warm, brilliantly sunny fall afternoon north of Phoenix, with a vista that stretched out forever.

Al, why did you choose to attend Clarkson?
“I went to Clarkson because I wanted to be a chemist and I had heard about Clarkson’s reputation for its chemistry department –second only to its reputation in hockey!  Besides, I lived close to RPI and wanted to go someplace further away from home!  Going to Clarkson represented a real adventure for this high school senior who won a science fair prize in 1965 for a laser he built at home.”

Why do you support Clarkson?
“Put quite simply, I support Clarkson because, without the Clarkson education, my career would never have been as successful.  Clarkson’s orientation toward science and engineering and my interests and involvement in new technology commercialization are a great match. I have wanted to express my gratitude to Clarkson for many years now, but decided to wait until I was in a financial position to make a significant gift – something that would send a message of just how much I appreciated my Clarkson education.”

You earned more than your bachelor’s degree at Clarkson, didn’t you?
“I spent nine years at Clarkson. I received my BS in 1969, my MS in 1971 and my Ph.D. in 1974. During my last two years, I worked with Dr. Matijevic on a project that led to my job with the Shipley Company.” Who can forget Egon’s famous lectures in freshman chemistry at 8:00 a.m. in Clarkson 104???? 

“Since the beginnings with Shipley, my career evolved stepwise from one opportunity to another culminating with an executive position at Boeing and ending with my own company providing services related to the commercialization of new technology.  None of which would have been possible without Clarkson and Egon Matijevic.”

You and Linda are making this gift in honor of Dr. Matijevic.
“Egon was a consultant for Shipley.  Together, and under his tutelage, we helped Shipley settle a major lawsuit.  Egon is solely responsible for getting my career launched and we have been friends now for 40 years! Consequently, there was never any doubt that I would honor his name with my gift.”

Now, after 45 years, you’ve settled far from your roots in New York state
“As a result of my Clarkson experience, this nice kid from the Albany area has realized a dream of living in the American west – in Arizona where the elk, deer and the antelope play.  I am an outdoorsman with a love of wide open spaces, married to Linda, a Montana woman who fully supports this gift.  Together, we enjoy our haven on two acres of God’s country in Prescott, AZ.  Thanks to a Clarkson education.”

What’s the “formula” for Al and Linda’s gift?
Al and Linda wanted to make a gift in honor of Al’s 45th reunion that would say “thank you” to Clarkson, honor one of his professors, fit into their financial plan and help ensure the Clarkson experience for students into the future. A two-life charitable gift annuity was the perfect vehicle to meet their goals:

  • The annuity provides a generous income for Al and Linda for life
  • Their income is fixed and guaranteed
  • They received an income tax deduction for a portion of their gift
  • A large part of their annual income is tax-free
  • The annuity fits into the “laddering” strategy for their fixed income portfolio
  • Someday, the remainder from the annuity will be split among three endowments, the Matijevic Scholarship, the Matijevic Lectureship, and the Bozica Matijevic Fellowship
  • Al and Linda become members of the Annie Clarkson Society
  • The total amount of this gift counts towards Al’s 45th reunion class fundraising as well as the E2E Fundraising Campaign  

Click for more information on gift annuities
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(rev. 4/2014)