Your Bequest: Your Values, Changing Lives

Judy Berges ’63 made a major contribution to the College’s $200 million bicentennial endowment campaign, Our Allegheny: Our Third Century Quest, by including her beloved alma mater in her estate plans. Judy wished to maintain most of her assets during her lifetime in order to cover her retirement and potential medical expenses. By naming the College the beneficiary of her individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and including a provision for Allegheny in her will, she was able to make a substantial gift at her death. 

We welcomed Judy to the William Bentley Legacy Society (WBLS) when she documented her plans in 2012. The WBLS is named for Rev. Bentley, who bequeathed his library to the College in 1817. Bentley’s bequest provided the impetus to develop Bentley Hall to house the collection and fledgling college, thus solidifying its future. In a very real sense, Allegheny may be considered as much Bentley’s legacy as it is Timothy Alden’s. 

Virtually anyone can make a bequest regardless of age or income. Allegheny has received bequests ranging from $1,000 to more than $1 million in recent years, each one taking another step toward ensuring the College’s future. The youngest WBLS member graduated only four years ago! Bequests may be designated for a specific purpose, or left unrestricted to be used as the Board of Trustees elects. Unrestricted bequests currently support the general endowment.

The easiest way to make bequests is by naming your favorite charity (or charities) as a beneficiary of your IRA(s). You may designate all or a percentage of an account for a gift, and this can usually be done with your plan’s administrator online or by phone. Your IRA bequests may be shared with loved ones and organizations, but individuals will be taxed on their payments while 100 percent of your gifts to nonprofits are put to charitable use. Charitable organizations may also be named as beneficiaries of life insurance policies in much the same manner. Wills, completed with the assistance of an attorney, remain popular mechanisms for implementing donors’ charitable plans.

Please consult with your financial advisors and visit our website at for detailed information on the variety of ways that you can shape your legacy at Allegheny and help to ensure that tomorrow’s students receive the same education as did you.