The Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society of Santa Clara University

bergin

Photo courtesy of SCU Archives

Each generation is enriched by the previous one. A legacy is the enrichment we receive from those who have walked before us. When many walk together, great institutions grow and flourish.

Over the years, many have walked together through the Mission Gardens of Santa Clara; Fathers Joseph Alemany and Michael Accolti, Fathers John Nobili, Robert Kenna, Willaim Gianera, Patrick Donohoe, and Walter Schmidt, the Bannans, the Heafeys, the Leaveys, the Orradres, the Sanfilippos, and the Swigs.

Thomas I. Bergin, Santa Clara's first graduate and recipient of the first bachelor's degree awarded in California, was one of the earliest people to enrich the legacy for what we have come to know as Santa Clara University. After graduating in 1857, Bergin went on to study law in New York and later practiced in San Francisco. The legacy he left to his alma mater in 1915—a $100,000 cash bequest in his will—was one of the first received by Santa Clara and helped to finance the founding of Santa Clara's School of Law.

In 1987, President William Rewak decided to honor Thomas I. Bergin and to exemplify his generosity to Santa Clara University by creating the Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society. This Society honors and thanks those alumni, friends, parents, faculty, and staff who have either made a provision or have stated to the University that they intend to make a provision for Santa Clara University in their estate plans. Gifts that qualify for membership include bequests, life income gifts through a pooled income fund, charitable gift annuity or charitable trusts. Additionally, one may also name Santa Clara University as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement plan.

The intention of the Thomas I. Bergin Legacy society is to build Santa Clara University's endowment and to ensure that it will have the financial resources to provide excellent educational opportunities for future generations.

Click here to view frequently asked questions about the Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society.

Download the Thomas I. Bergin Legacy Society Notice of Enrollment and Intention Form.

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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