The William Smith Clark Society

The William Smith Clark Society is pleased to recognize, honor, and welcome as members all those who have made a planned gift or provided for UMass Amherst in their will.

Alumni and friends who include the University in their estate plans help to secure the future of this institution. These gifts fuel every part of our mission and create a legacy that will contribute to the university's rise to the upper echelon of public research institutions.

Membership is reserved for individuals who have designated UMass Amherst as a beneficiary of their estate plans through any of the following vehicles: Wills, Trusts, Life Insurance, Gift Annuities, Retirement Plans, and Retained Life Estates.

Gifts may be unrestricted or can be directed to strengthen any area - from scholarships and research fellowships to endowed faculty positions and the enhancement of laboratories. Or you may provide future support to another area of the university to which you feel a particular affinity.

Among the benefits of membership:

  • An invitation to The William Smith Clark Society annual reception held during reunion
  • Full access to planned giving professionals to help you customize your estate giving strategy
  • Access to special events and seminars
  • A subscription to our planned giving newsletter with helpful tips on estate and financial planning topics.

Amounts of individual gifts or bequests are never stated and the desire for any donor members to remain anonymous will be respected unconditionally.

William Smith Clark Society LogoWilliam Smith Clark: A Brief History
The Clark Society is named for the first active president of Massachusetts Agricultural College, William Smith Clark. Clark served the university from 1867 through 1879 and is credited with leading the movement to bring the new agricultural college, under the Morrill Land Grant Act, to western Massachusetts.

As president, teacher, and administrator of the struggling new college, Dr. Clark's vision led UMass Amherst to the highly diversified research, teaching and public service university of today.

Generations have relied upon the collective, bold thinking of individuals to make discoveries that lead the way to better, healthier, and more fulfilled living. Behind each one of those discoveries are those whose vision was also bold enough to support them.

It is the foresight and commitment of today's Clark Society members that will perpetuate William Smith Clark's dream, hold open the doors of education and prepare citizens to actively engage in the prosperity of the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.

Read how other supporters are making a difference at UMass Amherst.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to the University of Massachusetts Amherst 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 designate _________________ to the University of Massachusetts Amherst at Memorial Hall, 134 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9270. I request this gift be used for __________________ (for instance, a specific department, college, school or program, a scholarship, or for general purposes of the campus)."

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 UMass Amherst 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 UMass Amherst 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 UMass Amherst 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 UMass Amherst where you agree to make a gift to UMass Amherst 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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