Uni High Legacy Society Member
Walter R. Stewart is a member, and co-class agent, of the Class of 1973 at the University of Illinois Laboratory High School. In 2018, Walt became a member of the Uni High Legacy Society which invites Uni High alumni who choose to give back in an extremely sincere form, through their estate plans.
After Walt graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with his J.D. in 1982, he began to recognize the importance of philanthropy. Many of his clients are non-profit organizations which depend upon donations to meet their budgets.
Walt’s gift is the post-death residual of an Individual Retirement Account. The beneficiary is the Class of 1973 Endowment Fund established by his classmates in 2018. The fund provides student fee waiver scholarships and faculty support to enhance and promote the excellence of teaching and learning at Uni High. The Class of 1973 was the first class in Uni history to surpass the $25,000 threshold to establish a named endowment fund.
“Uni was a wonderful opportunity for me. My inspiration to give back goes without saying. There is really nothing like it, and I feel that personal connection. Uni has managed to continue for so long despite difficult circumstances. Its perseverance must stand for something.”
Walt enjoyed attending high school in the middle of a “vibrant campus community”. He credits Uni with giving him strong writing skills and life skills that he would carry in his career as a lawyer, as well as throughout his life. “We had a very strong English program that would help me with writing skills I would use for the rest of my life. I am forever grateful in that regard, and it is something I’ve never taken for granted. And we had great music in the student lounge.”
“I’ve chosen to give with an IRA because the University of Illinois Foundation, as a tax exempt organization, will not have to pay the income tax on the funds. They will receive more ‘bang from my buck’! After my spouse and I are done using the funds, it doesn’t make sense to leave it to someone who will have to pay taxes on it. And fee waiver scholarships and faculty support are a better use of these funds.”
Walt hopes that his planned gift will influence others to give back in the form of their estate plan, including retirement funds. Give the Foundation proper direction so that it will honor your intentions. Uni can help you specify your philanthropic goal to ensure your wishes are properly respected.