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Planned Giving

Gift Provides ‘Meaningful Education’

William OakleyTo hear William "Bill" Oakley, MS GWSB '71, tell it, his time at GW helped put rugs under his feet and a roof over his head — so he's giving it all back and then some.

"I hope to give bright and eager young people the opportunity to get a good and meaningful education," says Oakley. "I want to prepare them and their future families for a better life and to achieve the American dream."

In 1986, Oakley established a charitable remainder trust (CRT) that will finance three endowed funds at the George Washington University: The William B. Oakley Scholarship Fund in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the William B. Oakley Endowed Business Scholarship Fund, and the William B. Oakley Professorial Fellowship Fund — the latter two in the School of Business.

"Endowments provide a continuing flow of funds for scholarships, as opposed to seeing it expended over a short period of time," explains Oakley, a Heritage Society and George Washington Society member. "These endowments will benefit more people over the long haul."

Oakley spent the first 20 years of his career in the U.S. Army working in the Communications Systems field. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., in 1968 and took night classes to earn a master's degree in Administration with a concentration in Information Technology from GW's School of Business and Public Management. Because of the GW degree and his communications background, Oakley spent the next seven years of his Army career working on a Worldwide Intercomputer Network before becoming a consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton.

"The GW education gave me the credentials, when tied with my other experience, for a full and satisfying career with a good salary," says Oakley.

The Army veteran is still impressed with the effect GW has on its students because of its location in the nation's capital and its emphasis on international relations.

"The role of America in the world is extremely important, and developing a broad understanding of what goes on outside of your immediate area is, I believe, of ultimate importance," says Oakley. "By attending GW, students not only get involved and see the governmental structure of the U.S.; they also get a feel for international activities by interacting with the broad spectrum of foreign students that attend GW."

An avid traveler, Oakley spent time living in the Middle East and purchased a number of rugs from pilgrims making the Hajj to Mecca. Oakley recently donated three of his rugs to the George Washington Museum and The Textile Museum for use in their educational programs. He also intends to give his home to the University when he no longer needs it.

"GW gave me the credentials to have a very satisfying and rewarding career," says Oakley, "so I'm sharing some of the benefits of that education and career back with GW and hoping to give young, eager students a chance to enjoy the same benefits of the education and of the American experience."

If you'd like to follow in Bill Oakley's footsteps in making a planned gift, while also seeing your gift make an immediate impact, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 877-498-7590 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the George Washington University 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 the George Washington University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 1922 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20052, 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 GW 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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 GW as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 GW 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 GW where you agree to make a gift to GW 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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