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Leaving a Legacy

Elizabeth Jane Smith

Elizabeth "Punky" Jane Smith ’72

Elizabeth "Punky" Jane Smith ’72 was always looking for one more way she could help her alma mater. A lifelong supporter, Smith was highly engaged with the College, providing both financial support and her time as a volunteer.

"She certainly thought very highly of the College," said Smith's brother, Joe Smith. "We worked on her estate plan together, and that's when I really came to know how much it meant to her. She made lifelong friends and her semester in Reading was extremely meaningful to her and something she remembered her whole life."

Though she passed away in 2016, Smith's legacy lives on. One of her most unique contributions to the College came in the form of pecans. More than 35 years ago, she and other members of the Nashville chapter of the R-MWC Alumnae and Randolph College Alumni Association decided to hold a pecan sale to provide funding benefiting the Middle Tennessee Scholarship Fund at Randolph. The popular event has provided $200,000 in financial support for 47 students from the Middle Tennessee area.

The pecan sale was just one way Smith supported the College. She was a member of the Quillian Society and made gifts to the Annual Fund for 45 consecutive years. She also shared from her estate generous support for infrastructure improvements, faculty development through the Mary Ethel Whitener Smith and Henry Clay Smith, Jr. Fund (in memory of her parents), and a commitment to Randolph's Innovative Student Experience grants program.

After earning her B.A. in history from R-MWC, Smith earned her J.D. from the University of Tennessee in 1977. She spent most of her career as an attorney specializing in real estate law and co-founded Realty Title & Escrow Company Inc. She was also active in the Brentwood Morning Rotary Club, where she held several leadership roles. The Rotarians named her a Paul Harris Fellow and 2002 Rotarian of the Year, and in 2014, established the annual Elizabeth J. Smith Scholarship fund in her honor.

Members of Smith's alumnae chapter and her classmates often remember her dedication to the College, which never wavered despite years of battling cancer.

"As I remember Punky, I think of her as the consummate alumna," said Phebe Williamson Wescott ’78, director of alumnae and alumni relations. "She cherished her R-MWC education, her friendships, and she was engaged in every possible way with the College."

Find out more about giving by contacting the the Planned Giving Office at 434-485-8050 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 Randolph College 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

Bequest Language

"I give, devise, and bequeath to the Trustees of Randolph College (founded as Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1891), a corporation located in Lynchburg, Virginia (the College), the sum of $_____ dollars [or property, securities, etc.], to be used for [describe the purpose in as broad and simple terms as possible], or in the event that such use shall in the judgment of the Board of Trustees of the College become impracticable, said trustees may use the bequest for other purposes as nearly akin to the original purpose as they judge will help advance the aims of the College."

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 the College 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 the College 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 the College 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 the College where you agree to make a gift to the College 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.