Jay Baraff understands two things well: hard work and having a plan.
"My father was a newspaper deliveryman. He was the guy the kids delivering papers worked for," Baraff said. "My father was the hardest working man I knew. My parents did everything they could for me — but I didn't look to them for help with college."
So after graduating high school in 1955, he enlisted in the Army. "The day I enlisted was the last day you could get the Korean GI Bill," he laughed. After three years, he was discharged from the Army and matriculated at GW, where he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.
Baraff had a successful law career and knew that he wanted to pay it forward, which led to his creating a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) at GW. A CRUT guarantees income while ensuring the remainder of the trust goes to your chosen designation after your lifetime — giving both you and the charity you support the gift of financial security. He also chose to give to GW through stock gifts and distributions from his IRA.
"People should assess what in their lives has helped them succeed. Is that worth paying forward?" Baraff asked. "GW will have done something for them in their career. Learning to think at GW provides value."
Ironically, for all his hard work and planning, one of the most memorable moments for Baraff came when he won an impromptu speech contest his senior year. After speaking about the university's new president, he finished by exclaiming, "So that those who come after us can say with even more pride, 'I am a GW man!'"
As a dedicated alumnus and planned giving donor, Baraff lives by the words he uttered decades ago. The university is grateful for his support and camaraderie.