The Gift of a Lifetime

13 May 2015

oenning.jpgJenny Krantz ’10 never had the opportunity to meet Mary Oenning ’28, who died almost a decade before Krantz applied to Carleton. But in a very real way, Krantz walked in Oenning’s footsteps each day she spent on campus.

Krantz is one of more than a dozen Carls, past and present, who have received the Mary Justine Oenning ’28 Memorial Scholarship, established through a bequest from Oenning’s estate to benefit students with financial need.

“Because I was offered these scholarships, I was able to graduate debt-free,” Krantz explains. “It was an enormous relief.”

When Oenning arrived at Carleton, she had already overcome tremendous odds: her mother died young, and her father left three-year-old Mary in the care of nuns at a nearby convent. That she was able to find a way to go to college was a small miracle in itself.

She never took that opportunity for granted: she studied hard, majoring in both history and education. And she worked tirelessly at jobs in the library, in the chapel, and in the mailroom to help pay for tuition. Decades later, she continued to speak fondly of her experience at Carleton and decided to plan a gift in her will that would support Carleton beyond her lifetime.  She also established a charitable gift annuity, which allowed her to make a significant gift to Carleton after her death.

Planned giving options can open up new opportunities for donors: a charitable gift annuity ensures that a donor (and, optionally, another beneficiary) receives a steady stream of income for a lifetime, with the remainder going to Carleton after death. A will provision can offer even more flexibility and impact.

Director of gift planning Lynne Wilmot ’89 says that these options can help donors achieve multiple philanthropic goals. “Often, when people think about giving, they think in terms of what kind of check they can write today. But planned giving—giving that provides an income, or that comes from your will or trust when you don’t need the money anymore—changes the rules.”

Wilmot adds that these gifts also provide many ways for donors to craft meaningful gifts to support student scholarships and programs. “People come to us with dreams of how they can help students,” she says. “We work with them to make those dreams possible.”

Planning a gift

There are many ways you can plan a gift to further support Carleton’s mission:

  • Make a gift through your will
  • Name Carleton a beneficiary of your retirement account
  • Receive income during your lifetime  tax benefits, and ultimately leave a gift to Carleton
  • Give real estate.

Read more about these and other options at