It's a Win-Win The IRA Charitable Rollover
Dr. Robert (Bob) L. Holt '67 adeptly leveraged the IRA Charitable Rollover provision to establish an endowment on the occasion of his Class of 1967 50th Reunion that also honors two admired W&L mentors, the late Chemistry Professor Keith Shillington and History Professor and friend Ted DeLaney. The Dr. Robert L. Holt '67 Endowment for Student Learning Experiences in the Sciences will enable deserving W&L undergraduate students studying the sciences or interested in health professions to pursue summer research and internships with a W&L faculty mentor, a faculty mentor at another university, or a physician or medical professional in a hospital or research center.
Dr. Holt is funding the Holt Endowment through the IRA Charitable Rollover tax provision. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals age 70 ½ and over to give annually up to $100,000 from their Traditional or Roth IRA to Washington and Lee. The IRA distribution is excluded from the donor's taxable income and qualifies as the IRA required minimum distribution.
When asked why the IRA Charitable Rollover is so attractive to him, Dr. Holt explains, "I think the simple fact that the timing is perfect. It had not dawned on me that the IRA required minimum distribution would start in synchrony with my 50th Reunion. Because I am still working, I am not strapped for cash nor need the IRA income. So this is an opportunity for me to benefit the University and to take advantage of a tax benefit as well. I am pleased with this opportunity. It's a win-win."
Dr. Holt's tax-savvy gift to his alma mater counts in his 50th Reunion giving totals, qualifies for the Shillington challenge match established by the late Dr. E. Darracott Vaughan, Jr. '61 and his wife Anne Vaughan, and honors mentors and friends who have made a difference in his life.
After graduating with a B.A. from W&L, Dr. Holt earned his DMD and PhD in microbiology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham and is a specialist in dental periodontics and implantology. He runs a thriving West Palm Beach practice and is an adjunct professor at UAB School of Dentistry. Dr. Holt believes the foundation of his successful career was laid in his W&L chemistry classes with Prof. Shillington: "Dr. Shillington was forceful and drove me to put forth extra effort. He did that by not giving me any slack. The future success in my career afterwards was a result of his strident efforts to put pressure on me to excel. After I left W&L, I enjoyed success in dental school, but I would not have had the fortitude nor the dedication without such a tough coach."
Dr. Holt also pays tribute through his gift to History Professor Ted DeLaney, whom he met when he was a student and when Prof. DeLaney worked as Curator in the Department of Biology. Over the years, they have become close friends. Of Prof. DeLaney, Dr. Holt says, "I admire him and his accomplishments and the positive changes he has facilitated in the people and attitudes around him. When I was there, W&L was all male and all white, and it has changed dramatically in a very good way."
Dr. Holt and his wife Cathy have bought a home in Lexington, where he consults in area dental practices. The Holt Endowment reflects their shared affection for Lexington and the friends they have made there and their desire to help deserving young people develop into good adults. Dr. Holt observes, "It sometimes takes a little more effort. I think the University is in a perfect position to define those students and to help them."