The Stevens 150 Legacy Challenge

In this planned giving challenge, alumni can celebrate their reunions while securing the university’s future.

More than 150 years ago, Edwin and Martha Bayard Stevens planned and made a gift to start a college. That gift continues to change lives. Now, alumni have a novel opportunity to offer their own transformational foresight.

The Stevens 150 Legacy Challenge is inspiring alumni to make planned gifts that have both a standalone benefit for Stevens and unlock matching funds for the new University Center Complex.

Each $10 increment of a planned gift can add another $1 for the project that will revitalize Castle Point. Inside the two residential towers, nearly 1,000 students will wake up daily to inspiring skyline views, while the entire Stevens community will benefit from a university center full of new options for dining, fitness, recreation and events.

The Stevens 150 Legacy Challenge started in September 2020 with $195,000 in matching funds available on a first-come basis, up to $10,000 per donor, and ending when the funds are depleted. The challenge has been made possible by the generosity of the George Habach ’29 Charitable Remainder Trust. Yes, a planned gift from years ago enabled this planned giving challenge today.

Planned gifts can take many forms, including bequests via will or living trust, beneficiary designations from a retirement account or bank account, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts and more.

Alumni who make planned gifts that result in a full $10,000 of matching funds (planned gifts exceeding $100,000) will gain recognition as Groundbreakers. Inside the university center, a prominent donor wall will display names of the Groundbreakers, celebrated as early leading supporters of the project.

Plus, all donors of planned gifts, of any amount, become eligible to join the Stevens Legacy Society. Members of the society receive special publications and exclusive opportunities to interact with campus leaders.

Several alumni have participated in the Stevens 150 Legacy Challenge thus far, both to celebrate the university’s sesquicentennial and to honor their milestone reunions.

Al Filskov ’61 finds additional reasons to give. His father Al and uncle Harold graduated from Stevens in 1919 and 1918, and a cousin, Harold, graduated in 1950.

“I grew up hearing about the engineering excellence, and Stevens well met my personal expectations,” Al said. “Stevens provided highly competent teachers, a demanding and extensive curriculum, and a campus where I could easily take part in activities and enjoy camaraderie of fellow students. My gift to Stevens is an investment to help others receive this same quality education, so at graduation they too will have both the knowledge and expertise to pursue a future of opportunity and gain unlimited success.”

An alumnus from a decade later, Roger Schatel ’71, feels the same.

“I have valued my lifelong association with Stevens, both as an undergraduate student and alumnus,” Roger said. “The university has given me many rewarding opportunities for volunteerism and engagement with my class and the larger institute, and I firmly believe in paying it forward. In conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the school’s founding, the Stevens 150 Legacy Challenge presented a unique opportunity for me to leave a lasting contribution. Educating first-class students requires first-rate facilities, and I hope my effort on behalf of the University Center Complex helps ensure that for future generations of Stevens students.”

Roger’s classmate and fellow challenge participant Vincent Agamennone ’71 agrees succinctly.

“Stevens is the best investment I ever made,” Vincent said.

Documenting a planned gift to Stevens is easy. Simply fill out a one-page Gift Confirmation Form, which you can mail to Michael Governor, Director of Planned Giving, at [email protected] or Office of Development, 1 Castle Point Terrace, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Michael is also available at 201-216-8967. Learn more on the planned giving webpage, and see a story about Stevens Legacy Society members in the Summer 2019 issue of The Indicator, pages 38-39.