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The Pergola Society

pergola-society.jpgEstablished in 1991 by the Hood College Board of Trustees, the Hood College Pergola Society honors those alumnae and alumni and friends who notify the College that they have arranged for Hood to receive a gift upon their death. These very special gifts come in the form of a bequest in your will or the remainder value of a life-income planned gift, such as a Charitable Gift Annuity or a Charitable Remainder Trust. If you plan to make, or have already made Hood a beneficiary of your will or planned gift, we would be delighted to hear from you so we can invite you to join the Society.

The generosity and foresight of Pergola Society members has helped make it possible for Hood to maintain the same high standard of excellence today as when the College was founded in 1893. Since the Pergola Society was established in 1991, the College has received more than $40 million in bequests.

Pergola Society gifts are the life-blood of the College and have helped many dreams become reality. Scholarships, academic programs, residence hall maintenance and renovation have all benefited from the largesse of this select group of individuals.

On average, we only expect about one in every four estate gifts we receive. If your estate plans include Hood, please notify us so that we have the opportunity to thank you personally. Some of our members prefer not to have their name listed as a Pergola Society member, and may choose to remain anonymous.

If you would like to join, simply call us at (800) 707-5280, option 7 or email

Upon acceptance, you will receive a Pergola Society pin and be invited to a reception with the President during reunion weekend.

Need another reason to join the Pergola Society? Bequests and life-income gifts may be counted towards your milestone reunion class gifts!

How do I make a planned gift to Hood?
If you would like to discuss making a planned gift, such as a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust, please phone the Office of Institutional Advancement at (800) 707-5280, option 7, and Jaime E. Cacciola '04, Director of Major Gifts and Gift Planning, will be happy to discuss your options with you.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Hood College a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Hood College, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Frederick, MD, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Hood or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hood as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Hood as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Hood where you agree to make a gift to Hood and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.