Our Values, Our Home, Our GW Legacy
Sometimes the answer to a question comes when you least expect it. David Whitcombe found his during a conversation with his daughter-in-law, Lori, about ways to honor his late wife, Lucy.
Whitcombe met Lucy Kim in the mid- 1960s while both were working at American Broadcasting, a magazine that covered the television and radio broadcast industry. They were a couple by the time she left the magazine to pursue her undergraduate degree in accounting from Benjamin Franklin University (later to become part of GW), and the two spent the next 40 years together.
The couple made their home in the Ballston area of Arlington. Lucy Kim Whitcombe graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1983 and later served as a staff accountant of Berens Asset Management Co. The Whitcombes eventually purchased a second home in Ocean City, Md.
"My stepfather and mother were of a generation where they focused on saving. They were conscientious about building their estate," says Peter Kim, Whitcombe's stepson. "He wanted their estate to have some longevity."
Honoring a Love of Learning
After Lucy passed away in 2008, Whitcombe wanted to find a way to honor her. Lori Kim suggested he consider creating a named scholarship at GW, which merged with Benjamin Franklin University in 1987. The suggestion immediately resonated with him.
"He said, 'Yep, that's perfect. That's exactly what I was looking for,'" Peter Kim says.
With his question answered, Whitcombe contacted GW's Office of Planned Giving, and, soon after, he established the Lucy Kim Whitcombe Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund with an outright gift and a plan to add to the scholarship later through five charitable gift annuities – two from the donation of his primary residence and vacation property and three from the remainder of his estate.
A Weight Off His Shoulders
Whitcombe's significant philanthropy highlights the benefits – and flexibility – that real estate gifts offer to donors. When he decided to move into an independent-living facility, GW's Planned Giving team helped with receiving his properties for the purpose of establishing the CGAs. Whitcombe immediately gained a lifetime income without the stress that comes with selling a home.
"It was great because the CGAs financed his day-to-day living," Peter Kim says. "It was a weight off his shoulders that he didn't have to deal with disposing of the properties on his own."
"He was very passionate about the good that could be accomplished through Gift Annuity arrangements," says John Kendrick, senior executive director of the GW Office of Planned Giving. "We were able to work with David to create a gift plan that would benefit him, his family, and future generations of GW students."
After his death in 2012, the remainder value of the CGAs – established with Whitcombe's properties – was integrated into the Lucy Kim Whitcombe Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarship supports students in the School of Business in perpetuity, with preference given to Korean nationals or Korean-American students.
Whitcombe's estate plan also included the establishment of charitable gift annuities for each of his two sons and stepson, allowing all three to receive a lifetime income.
"He liked the idea that we wouldn't just get a one-time lump sum," Peter Kim says. "There's financial protection in an annuity setup, and that made him more comfortable."
Gift annuities are a smart way to distribute an estate to heirs, according to Kendrick. "The heirs get a substantial lifetime benefit."
Peter Kim adds: "We have the pleasure of knowing that the memorial fund in honor of our mother will be added to once more, with the remainder of our annuities in the future."