The extraordinary education and generous scholarship aid he received at Exeter were the primary motivations for Ted Shen ’62 to begin giving back to the school even in his first years after graduation. “I’ve always made annual giving to the Academy a high priority,” he notes. However, it’s the cultural transformation he’s witnessed and advocated at Exeter since he began serving his 10-year term as trustee in 1992 that has revalidated Ted’s connection to the school and inspired him to do more philanthropically for the Academy. “Exeter now has a very deep commitment to enriching and supporting the experiences and development of its students not just through classroom teaching, but also through attentiveness to their personal lives and needs outside the classroom; to promoting and celebrating student diversity; and to instilling the values of combining goodness with knowledge and of service and leadership.
Recently, to celebrate the school to whose metamorphosis he has been both witness and contributor, Ted has established at the Academy a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT), which will count as part of his campaign gift to The Exeter Initiatives. “My first priority, of course, has been my cash pledge to the campaign,” says Ted. “But this additional planned gift serves as an effective complement. I transferred assets to Exeter that I wouldn’t need to retain in my final estate and that, had I held onto them, would have been subject to a 58 percent estate tax. So while these assets will eventually support the Academy’s endowment and the teachers and students who make the school what it is, during my lifetime I shall have use of the income they generate. It’s a wonderful concept, and Exeter made the planned giving process quite easy for me. In the end it was much simpler to transfer the gift principal to the Exeter Unitrust than to set up and manage my own trust.”