Gift Planning

Life Lessons: Rich Conti ’76

Rich Conti ’76

As a first-year student, Rich Conti ’76 learned the most important lesson of his Colgate career.

After sleeping through an English exam, he asked the late Professor Jonathan Kistler for a make-up exam. “His exact words were: ‘Mr. Conti, there are no make-up exams in college. I’m sorry, you failed the course. Life is rough’ Then he walked out of the room.” Rich remains grateful for the lesson. “That was a heavy dose of accountability,” he recalled.

In gratitude for the role that Colgate played in his path to success,  Rich made two significant gifts last year. He created a flexible deferred charitable gift annuity (FDCGA) to support students who need financial aid and provide himself supplemental retirement income. Using appreciated securities to fund the annuity, Rich can select when to start receiving income — within a range of years. This income will be fixed, dependable, and at competitive rates, paid over his lifetime and backed by Colgate.

Also, Rich made an outright gift to endow a scholarship for students who major or minor in economics. Colgate gave him an appreciation of the importance of studying economics.

The remaining proceeds from Rich’s annuity will “top-off” the Richard T. Conti Endowed Scholarship. “The idea was to use the direct donation to immediately activate the scholarship and the gift annuity to ensure the endowment in perpetuity,” explained Rich.

Rich is looking forward to stepping back from full-time work in the next year: “I’m an instrument-rated pilot with over 3000 hours; and I’m board chair of a nonprofit that provides air transportation to people in need of medical treatment. But my real passion is spending time building things for my four grandkids.”

Rich encourages his fellow alumni to give back to their alma mater. “If you’re happy with where you’ve ended up, and if you can give back, make sure Colgate is at the top of your list.”


The discussion herein is general in nature and may not apply to all individuals. Prospective donors are urged to consult their personal tax and financial advisors concerning the specific consequences of making gifts to Colgate. We would be pleased to discuss, in confidence, ways in which you may support Colgate. These measures may also have an impact on your estate planning.

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