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Telling the Story: An Earlham Alum's Journey

Howell Gatchell

Howell Gatchell’s Earlham education prepared him for a rewarding career in radio news. He is showing his gratitude with a legacy gift to the College.

Howell Gatchell '69 has seen firsthand what an Earlham education can do.

A retired radio journalist, Howell was thrust into one of the biggest stories of his career while still a student.

“I looked out my window and saw a giant cloud of smoke,” Howell recalls. “There had been an earth-shaking explosion.”

It was April 6, 1968, and a gas leak under Richmond streets ignited black powder in a downtown sporting goods store.

Howell, a junior political science major who was working at a local radio station, made it to City Hall less than an hour later, following the story as it unfolded.

“I wound up doing reports for radio stations all over the United States,” Howell says. Forty-one people were killed in the explosion, and numerous buildings destroyed.

Howell credits his Earlham education for building a strong base for his subsequent 40-year career in radio news.

“An Earlham education teaches writing skills well,” Howell says, adding that his courses in political science prepared him to cover politics and government. “Earlham laid the foundation for my learning how things work.”

Since retiring in 2009, Howell has returned to Richmond, where he tries to pass on some of the lessons he has learned.

“I interact with Earlham students a lot,” he says. “They make a difference in so many ways, and that needs to be encouraged, now more than ever.”

Recently, Howell established a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) with a gift of real estate, which the College is now in the process of selling to fund the trust.

“It’s a win-win situation,” says Howell, who will collect income from the trust for life, while the remainder value of the trust will eventually come to Earlham for its benefit.

Maximize Your Impact

For more information about trusts or other gifts that can provide you income for life, please contact Kimberly Kelly Tanner '90 at 765-983-1631  or

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Earlham 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 Earlham, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 801 National Road West, Richmond, IN 47374, 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 Earlham 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 Earlham 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 Earlham 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 Earlham where you agree to make a gift to Earlham 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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