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The Catholic University of America

A Simple Way to Make a Big Impact

Margaret and Van Smith

Margaret and Van Smith, along with other members of their family, use life insurance policies to make a meaningful gift to CUA.

CUA Trustee Emeritus Van Smith recollects offering the University's then president, Rev. William Byron, S.J., the option of receiving a future $1 million life insurance policy or the available premium in cash. Smith remembers Father Byron responding with a smile and saying, "We'll take the policy and pray for your good health."

Smith's association with Catholic University began with his service on the University's Board of Regents (1986-90) as the chair of the development committee. He served on the Board of Trustees (1990-2003) as vice chair (2001-2002) and as interim chair (2002-2003). Among his many contributions to Catholic University, Smith participated in the establishment of the American Cardinals Dinner in 1989, an annual black-tie fundraiser that benefited scholarship programs at the University for 26 years.

Van met his wife, Margaret, through mutual friends. They were married in 1960 and have five children and 19 grandchildren. Margaret Smith graduated from Ball State University with a degree in education. She taught elementary school in Muncie, from 1956 to 1961. Van graduated from Colgate University and from Georgetown University with a J.D. He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Ball State, Colgate, Indiana State, and Vincennes Universities, as well as The Catholic University of America. He is former chair of Colgate's Board of Trustees and of the Board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For more than 50 years, Van Smith served as an owner and executive leader of Ontario Corporation. He is a respected and honored entrepreneur, dedicated to faith, family, and integrity.

The Smith family continues its association with Catholic University. Son Victor Smith currently serves as a CUA trustee and daughter Susan Newell serves on the CUA Columbus School of Law Board of Visitors.

Life insurance policies have been a part of Van and Margaret's philanthropic plans for many years, helping to raise their level of giving. The proceeds of their policy at CUA will endow a professorial chair in honor of Father Byron. The endowment will cover an existing faculty position rather than create a new one, and the Smiths have requested that the University determine its most pressing need for an endowed chair at the time the proceeds become payable.

Over the years Van Smith and his family have loyally supported Catholic University. With their endowment of life insurance, their legacy will continue in perpetuity.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Catholic University of America 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 The Catholic University of America, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington DC 20064, 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 Catholic University 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.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

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 Catholic University 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 Catholic University 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 Catholic University where you agree to make a gift to Catholic University 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.

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