College sweethearts Boris Meditch '42 and Marian Young Meditch '42 support undergraduates and research to honor family connections
Boris Meditch with his daughter and granddaughter

Boris Meditch (center) stands with his daughter Andrea Meditch (left) and granddaughter Alexandra Goodwin—all three are graduates of Northwestern.

When Boris Meditch '42 followed his older sister, the late Janet Meditch Rommel '38, to Northwestern University, he never imagined that they were beginning a three-generation Meditch legacy and enduring connection to the University.

Boris met his late wife, Marian Young Meditch '42, when they served as junior prom representatives for their respective fraternity and sorority. "School politics brought us together," Boris says. The dance was a success, raising enough money to get Benny Goodman, "the King of Swing," to perform.

Boris and Marian married on graduation day in 1942. Boris enlisted in the Navy, and he and his new bride moved to Abbott Hall, part of Northwestern's Chicago campus. Boris attended naval intelligence training in Chicago prior to receiving a commission and serving as a navigator on an aircraft carrier, and he received his bachelor's degree in English in absentia in 1943.

The couple later settled in Boris's hometown of Indianapolis, where Boris managed National Wholesale Grocery, a company founded by his father. Boris and Marian became active members of the Indianapolis community, volunteering through numerous organizations, including the NU Club of Indianapolis.

The Meditches' connection to Northwestern deepened when their daughter Andrea Meditch '70 attended the School of Communication and again when Andrea's daughter Alexandra Goodwin '14 MD attended the Feinberg School of Medicine. Boris says he is extremely proud of his family's Northwestern legacy. "The whole family revels in the Northwestern experiences we have had over the years," he says. "The University gave me the opportunity to expand and lead, which allowed me to become confident in myself."

Excerpt from 1941 Northwestern yearbook

A photo of Boris Meditch and Marian Young Meditch from the 1941 Northwestern yearbook.

At the suggestion of their financial adviser, the Meditches established a charitable remainder trust—a popular planned giving vehicle that provides income to individuals for their lifetimes or a term of years. After the term ends, the funds remaining in the trust are distributed to charities that the donors choose to support—which, in the Meditches' case, included Northwestern. Once received, their generous gift will create the Marian Y. and Boris E. Meditch Research Fellowship Fund in Molecular Biosciences in memory of Marian's parents, Anna M. and Ferdinand H. Young. Marian's father was the chairman of Abbott Laboratories International and one of the company's original employees, and to honor his life's work, Boris and Marian chose to create a student research fund in the Department of Molecular Biosciences.

"The Department of Molecular Biosciences has a dual mission: cutting-edge 'discovery-based basic science research' and training the next generation of scientists, both undergraduates and graduate students," explains Carole LaBonne, chair of the department. "Investments in this essential foundation of our biomedical research enterprise and in our students help lead to transformative biomedical breakthroughs, and it is so gratifying when people like the Meditches recognize this and support it."

The Meditches have been donors to Northwestern for many years. Boris is now a platinum-level member of NU Loyal, which recognizes consistent support of Northwestern, with 40 total years of giving to the University. The Meditches also established a charitable gift annuity at Northwestern to support their research fund. Like a charitable remainder trust, a charitable gift annuity provides the beneficiaries with income for life. For Boris and Marian, these gifts gave them the opportunity to provide vital support for an institution that means so much to their family.

For more information about charitable remainder trusts and charitable gift annuities, please contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or

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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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