Bill ’57 and Ann Lemkau Houpt ’59 met at Dickinson in 1955. They stayed connected to Dickinson through their service to the alumni council, the board of trustees, Dickinson Works, the Men’s Glee Club and reunion committees. In 1983, they watched eldest daughter Ginger graduate from Dickinson. And now the Houpts have found another way to strengthen their connection to Dickinson—and strengthen their bank accounts.
“It’s an interesting chicken-and-egg situation,” Bill says. “We’ve had the opportunity to be close to the college. We’ve participated. We felt like it was a good thing to be part of, and it has continued and seems to just gain momentum.”
Their latest venture is a capital one. Bill chose to start a charitable gift annuity (CGA) in honor of his 50th reunion.
“I’d heard about [CGAs] but didn’t really understand them until we started putting together the reunion, and I was part of the committee,” Bill recalls. The college provided an informational session to the reunion committee to help explain the options. “It just made such fiscal sense. The money was there, the 50th was there, and we wanted to make a splash.”
With a CGA, the Houpts turned a low-yield CD into fixed, secure income for life, while simultaneously making a larger gift to Dickinson than they ever thought possible.
“What wasn’t clear before is that the college itself benefits from such an instrument, and I benefit at the same time,” Bill says. “It was refreshing to learn that. It’s just a matter of understanding how it works and how it’s used by the school.”
The Houpts researched other giving options before settling on a CGA.
“When people get to this age, they find they have discretionary dollars,” Bill explains. “Most of us feel at some point that we want to put Dickinson in our will. This [CGA] is a chance to do a considerable piece while we’re still alive.”
The Houpts were so pleased with Bill's investment that Ann started a CGA for her 50th Reunion, as well.
“We owe a lot to Dickinson,” Ann shares. “It’s an important part of our history—one of our daughters went there, and we feel very close to the campus. Building the endowment through the years through annual giving is a very important thing.”
Bill recommends CGAs to all alumni as a way to show support. “In the enthusiasm of your reunion or any special occasion, a CGA makes it possible to give a significant gift without feeling the financial crunch.”