The Henry and Emma Rogers Society honors and recognizes alumni and friends who have included Northwestern University in their estate plans. Through charitable bequests, gift annuities, insurance policies, and other forms of planned gifts, members of the Rogers Society have created a lasting legacy for many Northwestern students, faculty, and University programs. Planned gifts create tremendous opportunities for the University and allow Northwestern to transform the lives of future generations.

View a special video message from President Morton Schapiro to Rogers Society members.

View the Rogers Society Honor Roll.

Read about the 2019 Rogers Society Luncheon.

Read the Northwestern magazine article about the Rogers Society.


Northwestern University established the Rogers Society in 1987 in honor and memory of Henry and Emma Rogers. President of Northwestern University from 1890 to 1900, Henry Wade Rogers was a visionary leader who was instrumental in transforming Northwestern from a small cluster of colleges into a major, nationally recognized university. His wife, Emma Winner Rogers, founded the Northwestern University Settlement Association and was a leader in the suffrage movement. Like Henry and Emma Rogers, our planned giving donors possess a vision for the University’s greatness and have chosen to invest in its future.


Members of the Rogers Society receive certain benefits, which include:

  • Invitations to University events, including the annual Rogers Society Luncheon
  • Certificate of membership
  • Commemorative Rogers Society pin
  • Inclusion in the Rogers Society Honor Roll
  • Quarterly newsletter that shares University updates and timely information that will assist you in managing your financial and estate plans
  • The honor of belonging to a distinguished community of Northwestern philanthropists

Membership in the Rogers Society

We are pleased to invite you to join our planned giving recognition society. Membership is extended to individuals who make a commitment of any size to the University by including Northwestern in their estate plans; creating a charitable life-income arrangement to benefit the University, such as a gift annuity or charitable trust; or by naming Northwestern as a beneficiary of retirement assets or life insurance.

Member Spotlight »

If you are considering any one of the commitments described above, we encourage you to contact the Office of Gift Planning to discuss your ideas with a member of Northwestern's Gift Planning team.

If you have already included Northwestern in your estate plans, we would be happy to discuss your commitment further. Most importantly, we would appreciate the opportunity to thank you and recognize your generosity. For more information, please contact our team. We look forward to hearing from you!

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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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