A Brighter Future for Santa Clara Students

Alan Brooking"Alan, this is Steve."

Alan Brooking ran through his mental contact list. Steve? Steve? Then, the voice on the phone gave a Cupertino address and it clicked: Steve Jobs.

At the time, Alan was the head of the Louis H. Hill Company, a Santa Clara outfit that specialized in drapes, blinds, and any manner of device to control light in a room. His business had installed the tracks and security curtains that Lockheed Martin used to hide top-secret projects from under-clearanced eyes. He had hung the static-free curtains for the entryway of the NASA clean room where the Hubble Telescope was built, and his company even installed the laser barriers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

And sometimes work extended into the home of a Valley luminary such as Steve Jobs.

Alan remembers the house call and finding that the cord to the blinds he had recently installed had been cut. Jobs admitted the cord had been too long for his taste, so he took some interior design initiative. Turns out simple, no-frills design might have sold millions of computers, but its application has its limits.

The Brookings' company had deep roots in California, as it was held in Alan's wife's family for years. Susan Brooking's great uncle, Louis Hill, sold school projectors until he realized how many windows there were in schools, and how dark a room had to be in order to operate a projector. That's when Hill went from selling a few projectors, to selling many darkening drapes for the schools that sprouted up all over the West Coast in the '50s and '60s.

The transition from schools to tech corporations was a natural one for the company, and one that Alan helped guide. When Alan retired and sold the company, he and Susan were left with a commercial building but no company.

"We never saw ourselves as commercial landlords," says Susan about their decision to donate the building to Santa Clara University. "We're glad that we were able to do something for young people who will be the next generation of California's entrepreneurs."

And when those entrepreneurs build the companies that face the future, it just might be Louis Hill blinds that keep the glare out of their eyes.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Santa Clara 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 Santa Clara University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053-1400, 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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU 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 SCU where you agree to make a gift to SCU 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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