About Immortality

By Rosalie Yerkes Figge

Immortality is not the name of a new iris or even a reference to my beloved rebloomers. The type of immortality I have in mind is a legacy—a lasting memorial, a gift that keeps on giving, a tribute to one's love of his or her alma mater. Thoughts of immortality come to mind when attending a college reunion, as they did when I attended my 70-year college reunion. Only 7 of the 93 alumnae still receiving mail were able to attend.
I had been receiving junk mail asking that this organization and that be remembered in my will! I was not receptive, since there are many children, grandchildren, and great-grands who have priorities for my pittance.

However, I realized that as a nonagenarian, it was imperative to face facts. There are those who are reluctant to think far in the future. But—and this is not just for senior citizens!—everyone needs a will. A revocable living trust can also be considered for more complicated assets and planning needs. Think about what gives you pleasure outside of your family and make a place for that cause in your will or trust. (You can also irrevocably include Colorado College in your plans by establishing a life income gift such as a charitable remainder unitrust or charitable gift annuity, just as I have done.)

For many of us, our special love is a college. (I also love my irises, and I tell my children that if they think I'm dying, to put me out in the garden—it always revives my soul!) How much more personal it is to remember the college in our wills rather than some group with which we have no personal association.

Your donations to CC—now or later—can be designated for the general fund or for a special purpose, such as an academic department, scholarships, athletics or the library. Years from now, when your rhizomes have been divided dozens of times, when you are no longer on this earth, your gift will be strengthening the future of Colorado College. The benefits of your legacy donation will be far-reaching. That's immortality that everyone can achieve.

Rosalie kindly shared this special story with us in the fall of 2002. Rosalie's deceased husband, Frank H.J. Figge '27, a biology major at Colorado College, served as chairman of the department of anatomy at the University of Maryland Medical School and was a distinguished author. In the early 1970s, the Figge family established an award in Frank's honor to recognize outstanding premedical students at CC. An alumna of Gaucher College, Rosalie was also a generous donor to Colorado College through its life-income giving program. She was a devoted fan of iris gardening and served as an officer of the American Iris Society. She continued to travel to annual meetings of the Society up until a few years before her death in April 2006.

Discover how to leave a legacy at CC.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Colorado 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The Colorado College, City of Colorado Springs, County of El Paso, State of Colorado, [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 CC 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 CC 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 CC 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 CC where you agree to make a gift to CC 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.

Deferred Gift Annuity

You can defer your payments until a later date that you specify.


Flexible Deferred Gift Annuity

You choose a time range in which to begin receiving payments.


Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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eBrochure Request Form

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