Our Donors

Meet Some Of Champlain College's Donors

Diana and Michael Agusta(Diana Agusta is a former Champlain College employee)

"My job as the Assistant to the President of the College doesn't really allow me time to serve on a lot of committees or help on many special projects outside my responsibilities, so I make a financial gift to support the College" Diana explains. In addition to her annual fund support, Diana and husband Michael (who has earned two degrees from Champlain) have made a planned gift part of their will.

It all comes back to a lesson Diana learned when she started working at Champlain College. President C. Bader Brouilette encouraged her to make a contribution to the College's Century Fund. "You had to donate $100 a year, which was a lot back then, especially because I was still so poor and paying off my student loans. He felt it was important for every employee to give back, and I know Bader was always proud of me for making the commitment."


Mary Jane and Stokes GentryMary Jane and Stokes Gentry are known throughout the State of Vermont for their community involvement and wide range of interests. Mary Jane served on the Board of Trustees at Champlain College, and has been strongly committed to the College ever since. She and Stokes, a retired physician, have played a key role in many non-profit organizations and are often looked to for their energy and advice.

"We hold Champlain College in very high regard. We are particularly impressed by the innovative curriculum and career-oriented programs that have been developed over the years. To maintain course relevancy, Champlain needs to keep technology current while expanding the programs in technology and business as well as the other majors.

We are pleased to have been able to help the College at key points, including the kick-off phase for the recent Robert E. and Holly D. Miller Information Commons - a marvelous combination of a technology center and modern library. We made a gift of appreciated stock, allowing us to make a larger gift than we might have been able to otherwise provide. This was because it provided a significant income tax deduction and we avoided the capital gains tax on the appreciation.

"This College is on the move and we want to be on board!"


Kraig CoutureEstate planning - best left for later in life? Ask Kraig Couture '93 who recently named Champlain College as a beneficiary in his retirement plan. "Champlain gave me the basics I needed to be able to exceed all expectations in my career. Being able to work in my field and attend college, both full time, during my four years at Champlain gave me a head start after graduation by being able to juggle many different tasks at once." said Kraig. "By setting aside a bequest to Champlain I hope to help someone else achieve and exceed what I have done professionally in my career."

"Champlain's small class size allowed me to get the individual attention I needed to develop my skills and helped me to become Chief Financial Officer for multiple hospitals in my 30's and to become Senior Vice President for a national hospital company by the age of 41."


Audrey Michaelis Holm-Hansen While an IBM employee, Audrey Holm-Hansen chose to attend Champlain for refresher courses and ended up earning an associate's degree in electrical technology in 1994. This was her third degree -- adding to a bachelor's from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's in computer science from UVM. She shares the reasons for establishing a named endowment at Champlain.

"The quality of the professors is outstanding. Dick Harter and George Bradford taught most of my classes and they were fantastic -- two of the best teachers I have ever had in my life. Champlain is a small school so I was never treated like a number.

My father died of cancer the year I turned 40. In thinking through his eulogy, I remembered how he had also put himself through college part-time after already having worked in industry for several years. He was always trying to improve himself. I had been donating to Champlain regularly to say thanks for the quality education I'd received. With my father's death at a relatively young age, I saw that life is a gift. I wanted to help others who were also trying to improve themselves, and decided to endow a scholarship to honor my father's memory.

Staying connected with Champlain has let me touch the future. I like knowing that this endowment will help others get a quality education, and I hope that they, in turn, will use that education to carry on the tradition and help others who follow to do the same."


Mel and Dee Dee IsraelMel and Dee Dee Israel are long-time supporters of Champlain College. They wanted to make a significant gift to a capital campaign and to increase endowment. But they were also interested in making a gift that would provide them with some income for a period of years as well as a significant tax deduction. By establishing a charitable remainder unitrust the Israels were able to accomplish all of their goals; increase their income from an appreciated asset (real estate), make a significant gift to the College, avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation of the property and realize a large tax deduction at the time of the gift.

"We are very active in the community and are particularly impressed with the programs and results at Champlain College. As an Alumnus and Trustee, I wanted to provide as much support as possible to the campaign to build the Miller Information Commons. Dee Dee and I decided that we would set up a charitable remainder unitrust so that we, as well as the College, could benefit.

We used a non-income producing asset that had greatly appreciated to fund a trust that provides us additional income and a sizable tax deduction. This is a great way to dispose of appreciated assets and avoid capital gains taxes. The charitable remainder trust was the perfect vehicle for our family and for Champlain."


Ruth Haigh Mackenzie"I attended Burlington Business College (now Champlain College) while a student at Burlington High School. I then went on to university for my bachelors and masters degrees. However, Champlain is the college that I have chosen to support on an annual basis. I am particularly impressed with the Support-A-Student scholarship program that makes grants to deserving students each year. These young people would never be able to attend college if that last piece of the financial puzzle wasn't available, so I make sure to include the SAS Program in my annual giving plans.

In addition to my annual fund gift, I also established a Charitable Gift Annuity. Gift annuities are so simple to set up, and are perfect for people who want to lock in an annuity payment for the rest of their lives. I made a gift of appreciated securities, and now enjoy a 8% return rate, which is several times more than I was receiving from the stock. During these uncertain times in the stock market, it is reassuring to know that I have such a secure investment. More importantly, I was able to make a much more significant investment in the future of Champlain which is a wonderful feeling. I would recommend this gift idea to anyone."

(Roland Palmer is a current Champlain College employee)

Roland F. Palmer"Champlain changed my life by giving me the tools to succeed in the business world. It is not about "fluff" like many other schools. I was taught focused key elements that were needed for a career in business and computers."

"I give back to Champlain for one main reason. I was able to go to Champlain because of the Support-A-Student Scholarship Program. The scholarship I received bridged the gap between the financial aid I was able to secure and the actual cost of attending Champlain. Each year I try to increase my gift to help make it possible for the Support-A-Student Program to assist other students in making their dreams come true."

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