James R. Ward


As managing editor of the Daily Northwestern during World War II, James “Jim” R. Ward ’42, ’47 MS published articles that currently stand as an invaluable archive of this unique and important time in history.

Years later, after graduating from Northwestern with a bachelor of arts in history and a master’s degree in journalism, serving in the Navy during World War II, and completing a 34-year career in advertising, Jim inherited a 134-year-old house with family history. The house was uninhabitable and could not be remodeled, but it sat on valuable land. Jim’s goal was to use the house to support his alma mater, while also memorializing his family’s history.

“My parents both attended Northwestern, and the generosity of donors made it possible for me to attend Northwestern and go on to achieve my professional goals in the field of advertising,” says Jim. “I wanted to make a similarly significant gift to Northwestern and at the same time honor my family.”

In 2002, Jim worked with staff members in the Office of Gift Planning at Northwestern to evaluate tax-efficient giving arrangements in which he might achieve both of those goals. Ultimately, Jim opted to use his family’s house to establish a charitable remainder trust (CRT).

“I decided that establishing a CRT and designating the remainder to an endowed scholarship in my family’s name would be the best way to celebrate our shared love of Northwestern,” explains Jim. “At the same time, the trust is providing me with the benefit of a steady income stream for the remainder of my lifetime.”

In the year that Jim set up the CRT and funded it with the property, he was entitled to a charitable deduction of the fair market value of the house. As the income beneficiary of the trust, Jim receives income payments for the rest of his life. The remainder of the trust will be added to an endowed scholarship at Northwestern, providing a world-class education for talented and deserving students who otherwise would be unable to afford the opportunity.

Jim finds it personally rewarding to see the impact of his scholarship fund at Northwestern. “It is always a thrill to hear from students who have benefited from the scholarship fund. I enjoy reading their notes and hearing about what they are doing. Oftentimes, I find we have much in common.”

Contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or giftplanning@northwestern.edu if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of a charitable remainder trust or other ways to support Northwestern.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Northwestern 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 Northwestern, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 633 Clark Street, Evanston, Illinois 60208, 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 Northwestern 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 Northwestern 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 Northwestern 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 Northwestern where you agree to make a gift to Northwestern 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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