Gift Planning

Choosing to Pay It Forward: The James M. Eppolito ’66 Endowed Scholarship

James M. Eppolito ’66Jim Eppolito ’66 chose Colgate as a young man, thanks to what he calls a “kinesthetic connection to the Colgate community.” He fondly recalls studying Shakespeare under Professor Kistler and abnormal psychology with Professor Estabrooks. He especially enjoyed serving as a dorm advisor during his senior year.

Jim has led a rich life since graduating in 1966. He and his late wife Josette had three daughters. He spent his career working in the employee benefits arena, enjoying the challenge of landing sizable accounts through marketing and sales. Today he stays active playing tennis, traveling, and reading and has served as program chair for all ten of the Class of ’66 Reunions.

Because of the positive experiences he had as a student and throughout his life as an alumnus, Jim chose Colgate again in 2019 when he established the James M. Eppolito ’66 Endowed Scholarship—an unrestricted source of financial aid for future Colgate students. Funded through a charitable gift annuity, his gift will increase the University’s pool of scholarship funds while providing Jim with income during his retirement years.

Through the charitable gift annuity, Jim earned a tax deduction for his gift and immediately began receiving income at a rate determined by his age. Colgate will invest his gift, and, at the end of his life, the remainder of the gift will establish the scholarship fund in his name. A generous gift like this benefits both donor (Jim) and Colgate students in perpetuity.

“I chose the annuity because it was an opportunity to make a significant ‘thank you’ gift to Colgate and to make a fair return with favorable tax treatment,” Jim explains. He says he was inspired to give to Colgate because he wanted to “pay it forward.”

Jim’s four years at Colgate taught him to connect, strategize, plan, and lead, and he remains grateful for the many opportunities his Colgate experience afforded him. Colgate is grateful for his generosity and the impact it will have on students for generations to come.


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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