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Donors' gift will sustain Lewis Building's legacy

Published: 
1 year 10 weeks ago

Childhood memories and knowing what it takes to maintain a historic building inspired a major gift from Plantations donors Bob Shaw ’63, MS ’64 and Anne Meads Shaw ’64. Their planned gift will establish a future endowment fund to support the upkeep of the Lewis Education Building and infrastructure and botanical collections on Comstock Knoll.

Bob Shaw grew up in Forest Home, on the outskirts of the Cornell campus. He and his brothers attended the nearby elementary school, where Bob remembers playing among the tall pines on Comstock Knoll, sledding down the hillside in the winter, and playing baseball in the school yard in the summer.  Their parents worked at the university: R. William Shaw PhD ’34 was a professor and longtime chair of the astronomy department, and Charlotte Throop Shaw MA ’36 worked in the music department.

After the school closed in 1964, the building became Plantations’ headquarters. The old playground was dismantled, but the gravel yard remained for ten years before the Robison Herb Garden was built there. Today the old school is home to our education and visitor services staff, and is named for Plantations’ first executive director, Richard Lewis.

Bob and Anne first started making gifts to Plantations in memory of his mother, who enjoyed seeing our botanical collections and gardens develop. As their 50th reunions were approaching, they began thinking about how they might do more to create a permanent source of support for Plantations. “The Lewis building and the properties around it were an important part of my early years,” says Bob. “Anne and I want to be sure that Plantations has the funds needed to maintain and preserve them over the years ahead.”

Over the next four years, Bob and Anne will add new gifts to the charitable remainder unitrust they’ve already established at Cornell. They receive income from the trust for their lifetimes, and after their deaths the remainder will be divided to support the College of Engineering and to establish the “Robert and Anne Shaw Plantations Endowment.”  We will use the payout from their endowment to maintain or improve the Lewis Building and the pathways, stairs, summer house, or other infrastructure on Comstock Knoll. The fund may also support other landscape improvements or enhance the knoll’s botanical collections.

Planned gifts can secure your future—and Plantations!

Gift planning can help you meet your financial goals while also providing Cornell Plantations with vital, long-term resources. From a simple bequest in your will to life-income agreements that can help secure your retirement, there are a wide range options.

For many donors, gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts provide the security of having a continued income stream for themselves or heirs, and significant tax savings. The charitable IRA rollover is also an option for 2013, and if you are 70-1/2 or older, you could move up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to Plantations without paying income taxes on the money.

For more information on how you can support Cornell Plantations with a planned gift, contact Beth Anderson.