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The Charles Martin Hall Society

Charles Martin Hall Society

A year after his 1885 graduation from Oberlin, Charles Martin Hall (1863-1914) developed a process for producing aluminum efficiently. This scientific advance led to the creation of the Aluminum Company of America (later ALCOA) and made Hall a very successful man. He left his alma mater a $10 million bequest — to date still the largest gift in the College's history. This supremely generous gift preserved Tappan Square, built Hall Auditorium, and substantially increased the College's endowment.

We honor Mr. Hall's philanthropy through the Charles Martin Hall Society, which all planned gift donors are invited to join. There are more than 1,000 such benefactors today. You can view a list of Society members here.

There are many ways to establish a planned gift. You can:

  • include the College in your will or trust;
  • name Oberlin as a beneficiary of your IRA or life insurance policy, or designate it as the successor in interest of your DAF or financial account;
  • establish a life income gift such as a charitable gift annuity or charitable reminder trust

Our staff can help you consider these and other options.

Members of the Charles Martin Hall Society are deeply appreciated by the College, and are recognized through a welcome gift; an invitation to a donor reception during our annual Commencement/Reunion Weekend; and inclusion in a published list of members.

Most importantly, Society members are key partners in maintaining Oberlin's educational excellence for upcoming generations of students.

Statue
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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Oberlin 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 give to Oberlin College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 50 West Lorain Street Oberlin, OH 44074 , 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 Oberlin 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 Oberlin 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 Oberlin 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 Oberlin where you agree to make a gift to Oberlin 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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