Gives Exeter Its First-Ever Lead Trust
“I always wanted to have one charity where I thought I could make a difference,” says Farrell Bushing Jr. ’47. “More important, I wanted it to be Exeter, since the Academy was a watershed experience in my life. Exeter brought me from Memphis, Tennessee to New England, into a good college, and the start of adulthood. The school holds a special place in my heart, and it makes me feel good to have done something like this.”
“Something like this” is Farrell’s most recent gift to Exeter: a charitable lead trust, the first ever given to the Academy. The trust has allowed Farrell to achieve his life-long ambition of making a major philanthropic commitment to Exeter, while also structuring his gift in a manner that meets his financial planning needs.
“My great-grandfather was one of six founders of a Michigan lumber company that moved to Tennessee about 100 years ago,” explains Farrell. “The stock never paid very large dividends until recently, when it was turned into a real estate investment trust. All of a sudden, the income was huge.
“My wife and I don’t need additional income; furthermore, I wanted to leave the stock to my children, without them having to pay excessive inheritance taxes. So we used the stock to establish a lead trust that will provide significant income to Exeter for the next 14 years. After that, the trust will dissolve, and the assets will go directly to our children, free of inheritance tax. The trust has provided a wonderful way to do something important for Exeter, and for the children as well.”
Through their gift, Farrell and his wife, Pamela, will endow a fund to support the John and Elizabeth Phillips Fellowship program at the Academy. Administered by Exeter’s dean of faculty, the Phillips Fellowships are intended to serve as a catalyst to help attract scholars and teachers traditionally underrepresented in a private secondary school environment, who might not otherwise consider teaching in a residential school. Each Phillips Fellow affiliates with a specific Exeter department for a one-, two-, or three-year teaching appointment and serves as a full participating member of the Academy community. Since many of these instructors will return to their local communities, the purpose of the Phillips Fellowship program is also to broaden Exeter’s influence in education nationwide.
“I’ve volunteered as a math tutor in the public schools in both Connecticut and Florida,” says Farrell, “and I know a great deal must be done to improve public education in this country. By supporting Exeter, we are supporting the very best model of secondary school education. Anything we can do to promote that model is going to pay off for public education in the long run.”
Farrell also hopes that his gift may inspire others to similar acts of generosity. “My gift is small compared to what others can do,” he says. “So many people could accomplish so much more. If my effort can do anything to strike a chord with someone else, I’d feel very gratified.”