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Lou '54 & Joan Dindo

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Our Gift to the Next Generation
October 2011

“All I have is life, and all I have is yours.” That was how Lou ’54 and Joan Dindo began to describe their relationship, a finely crafted mechanism whose component parts have been machined so precisely that they fit together perfectly. This mechanism is really a decades-old partnership, and the pieces have molded even more closely together over time so that the whole functions effortlessly and in perfect harmony.

“We’re actually different in many ways,” says Lou, “but as we share life experiences, these complimentary skills strengthen our relationship.” Originally from Barre, VT, Lou considered Clarkson at the suggestion of his high school principal. The financial realities of affording college made a lasting impression on this first generation college student. “Clarkson provided scholarship support, but it went further than that”, says Lou, “I recall one time when Gordon Lindsey (then director of the Malone campus) created a job for me so that I could earn enough money to stay in school. Add to that the personal attention from the instructors and the memorable time in Malone, and you get an idea of the Clarkson educational experience in that era.” After Clarkson Lou spent three years at GE and then moved to Raytheon. It was at Raytheon that Lou met Joan in 1979. She was working in international sales at Silicon Transistor Corporation. They married in 1981 and Joan later moved to Mercury Computer Systems. “It’s been a wonderful life together,” says Joan, “but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. Life is what you make of it. We have known joy and sorrow together, and these shared experiences brought us closer and helped us understand our need to help others.”

“We feel very fortunate, very blessed, in our life, and we want to give back,” says Joan, “You see the good work charities are doing, and based on your experiences, you decide which ones to support. It’s our gift to the next generation.” That realization has prompted a quiet philanthropy that includes their church and the American Cancer Society, as well as the Veterans Association, the Salvation Army, the Nature Conservancy and the Humane Society. “What has remained most important to us, however, is education,” says Lou, “an educated person is a better citizen and goes on to help society in many ways. Clarkson does an excellent job of training young adults, and we want to help ensure that the Clarkson experience is available to students today and into the future.” In addition to their loyal support of the Clarkson Fund over the years, Lou and Joan recently created their sixth charitable gift annuity at Clarkson. The remainders from the annuities will someday create a scholarship endowment to help needy students majoring in mechanical engineering.

This partnership is a role model for us all, fueled by a simple, unassuming determination to make the world a better place. The mechanism of this partnership is more than the sum of its parts as it flows seamlessly, with a grace borne out of years of mutual respect and cooperation. Our life is all that each of us has, but not only is it a special gift to share what we have with someone else, it becomes a transcendent relationship when used for the greater good. Their example is part of the Dindos’ gift to the next generation.

The mechanics of the Dindos’ gift plan

  • The annuities provide fixed, guaranteed income for both their lives.
  • The annuities allow them to move from a variable to a fixed income position.
  • The annuities allow them to increase their income from low-yielding assets.
  • They have used appreciated stock to create their annuities.
  • They do not need to declare any capital gain when they give their stock.
  • They have created six annuities on a timeframe that works for them.
  • Some of their income will be tax-free for a period of years.
  • They have documented their wishes for the ultimate use of the remainder from the annuities.
  • Their gifts count at full value in the Evolution to Excellence fundraising campaign and in Lou’s anniversary reunion.

The Dindos have created several gift annuities at Clarkson over a number of years. Lou would be happy to speak with anyone confidentially about gift annuities, the process to create one and about Clarkson's service. Click to email Lou, or call him at 978-448-2733.