A Foundation for Life: William McClean III ’63

William McClean III ’63

William McClean III ’63 says the education he received at Colgate was the foundation for his later success in life.

“Colgate got me started,” says McClean. “It gave me an excellent academic experience and introduced me to lifelong friends.”

McClean, a retired banker and portfolio manager who has worked at J.P. Morgan, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co., and Estabrook Capital Management, says that it was the core curriculum and Colgate’s focus on the liberal arts that drew him to the University. For McClean, visiting campus over the years never ceased to produce pleasant surprises at Colgate’s transformation.

“The campus is as beautiful as ever,” he says. “I am so impressed with the growth of the campus and the diversity of Colgate’s faculty and student body.”

McClean chose to give back with an annual gift sourced from his IRA, using a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). A QCD allows donors to give directly to Colgate from their IRA as a tax-free distribution and counts toward one’s required minimum distribution (RMD). He also supplemented this with additional gifts from his revocable trust.

“The QCD counts towards annual RMDs, which permits and encourages gifting of significant sums of highly appreciated assets with no tax consequence,” he says. “It is a simple, uncomplicated procedure.”

McClean, whose son Chi McClean ’98 also attended Colgate, is grateful his son had the same opportunities at Colgate that he did. For them it is another bond they share.

“The school and its faculty and administration treated me fairly and honestly. They showed me the meaning and value of history, tradition, leadership, intellectual honesty, and loyalty,” he says. “I am delighted to be able to support my alma mater in this way.”


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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