Don Manzelli '53: A Champion of Champions

Donald Manzelli

Donald Manzelli, 1929-2010

"I am never afraid to give what I have because, in the end, more comes back to me."

This was one of Donald Manzelli's favorite sayings and he dedicated his life to living it.

From the moment he stepped onto the Colorado College campus, Don — a member of the Class of 1953 — developed a deep appreciation for and commitment to the college that never ended.

Don started his own business soon after graduating from CC with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. During his career in construction focusing on design/build, he created countless structures all over Massachusetts, winning many awards and accolades. In his personal life, he was involved in music and musical theater, drama, photography, and flying among many other interests.

Don's dedication to CC remained constant. He served as Class Agent, and played a leadership role in creating the Class of 1953 Scholarship Fund, which assists one student to attend CC every year. He also participated in and later led the Boston/New England alumni group for decades and hosted scores of events at his home — entertaining CC leadership, alumni, entering freshman, prospective students and their parents. In fact, preparing countless mailings was a regular family affair with everyone pitching in to stuff and lick envelope after envelope of CC mailings.

Janet Manzelli (Tufts 1950) recalls one of many memories from their 50+ years of volunteering. The hockey team was visiting Boston, and after a victorious game, Don treated the entire team to dinner where "they ate just about everything on the menu!"

Don's passion for Colorado College extended to the next generation. Having grown-up with CC as a constant presence in their lives, it was inevitable that two of his children would come to CC! Marta graduated in 1979 (BA English) and Jeff followed in 1989 (BA Art).

Don was a genuine philanthropist — in the truest sense of the word. For Colorado College, that meant becoming a charter member of the President's Council in 1968, later serving as its Chairman. When the 1874 Society came along, Don was there, and then later he joined the new President's Circle. In over 50 years, Don not only made annual gifts, but also provided for the college in his estate plans — ensuring his commitment to CC will continue for years to come. This was foremost in his thoughts throughout his later years—to help CC help others long beyond his lifetime.

Barbara Yalich, also a member of the Class of 1953 and former Vice President of CC's Alumni and Development Offices, recalls how Don was always willing to help. "He was never shy about asking classmates and others to step up to the plate," Barbara notes. "I will always remember him as one of the ‘best of the best' volunteers I ever worked with."

Don expended endless energy and enthusiasm not just for CC, but gave his all to countless charities from the YMCA to his favorite cause, The Council for Social Concern, a local food pantry and daycare center for children taken from abusive homes.

Indeed, Don was "never afraid to give" and truly was always helping others at every opportunity! For that, Colorado College will always be grateful and proud to call Don one of our own.

Find out how you can give to CC in your will.

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.


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