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Carl Terry '70, '73

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A Mastery of Philanthropy
Fall 2014


Some say it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. Others contend that’s just one ingredient to success. Either way, Carl Terry ’70, ’73 has achieved a mastery of philanthropy.

“Paying forward what we are given”

Originally from Binghamton, NY, Carl came from a large family. “My first job was a paper route when I was 12,” says Carl, “I learned the value of saving money and I liked the independence of being self-sufficient.” Carl heard about Clarkson from a friend, and after interviewing at several schools, he knew that Clarkson was the place for him. There was not a lot of money for college, but a Clarkson scholarship made it possible for him to attend. “That level of support, of confidence in me, made a big impression on me when I was 17 years old,” says Carl. “Even then I knew I was somehow going to provide many times over the opportunity I was given.” Carl graduated with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970. After 1½ years as a power engineer with ALCOA in Texas, Carl returned to Clarkson and completed his master’s in electrical engineering in 1973. He joined Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (NiMo) and spent much of his career as a vice president supporting the nuclear power plant in Oswego, NY. Carl retired as a utility employee in 2003 and is now a consultant in the nuclear and power industry.

“Helping those who help themselves”

Carl began practicing his philanthropy with gifts to the Clarkson Fund after graduation. As time went on, he developed more gift planning techniques and goals, including matching gifts, challenge gifts, and gifts to specific purposes. Today, with a robust giving plan and a well-developed philosophy of giving, Carl has added more sophisticated techniques like gift-with-income plans and estate planning to achieve his philanthropic goals at Clarkson. “Clarkson is a supportive environment that helps students become independent and learn the skills necessary for success in life,” says Carl. “Caring faculty members like “Shawky” Hammam create the right formula to prepare contributing members of society.” Carl saw this transformation not only in himself, but other family members as well. Carl’s brother Ron graduated from Clarkson in 1972, his brother Ray graduated in 1977, and his son Jason graduated in 1998. “Clarkson attracts self-directed, hard-working students,” says Carl. “I want to offer the opportunity for young adults to make their own decision to attend Clarkson and support them as they work hard at their studies and learn good personal and financial management skills so they can go on to make a difference in our world. Our philanthropic goals are borne out of our life experiences and an understanding of our connection to our world, our past, present and future. Education is the heart and soul of successful communities and nations. My goal is to make education accessible to deserving students, and supporting a Clarkson education is a great way to do that.

A mastery of philanthropy at Clarkson

Carl’s lifelong philanthropic journey started with the basics, including a desire to offer opportunity to deserving students. Hallmarks of Carl’s philanthropic relationship with Clarkson include:

  • The Clarkson Fund – Carl’s annual gifts are used to help students immediately.
  • Share Clarkson Scholarships – these term scholarships provide immediate assistance to students for 4 years. Carl has funded 4 scholarships, all in memory of his brother, Ron, who died in 2000.
  • Endowment giving – Carl is a major initial and continuing donor to the scholarship endowment created in memory of Professor Hammam.
  • Charitable gift annuity – Carl recently created a deferred gift annuity that will begin making income payments to him after 2015.
  • Bequest – Carl’s bequest will come from his retirement plan. Gifting retirement plan assets to Clarkson and passing other assets to heirs may save income tax for those heirs.
  • Matching gifts – Carl has used employer matching gift programs to augment his giving.
  • Stock gifts – Carl does not need to declare any capital gains when he makes his gifts with appreciated stock held long term.