About the Society
Annie Clarkson and the Annie Clarkson Society:
Ensure the Clarkson Experience
Annie Clarkson was born December 21, 1856 in Potsdam. Known as “Miss Annie” (a term of endearment of the time) she was instrumental in founding Clarkson University in 1896 in memory of her uncle, Thomas, and later was crucial to its survival. Annie was the first Secretary on the Board of Trustees, serving from 1894-1929, and was the closest family member in the development of the school. In 1922, Annie gave a large tract of land to the west of Holcroft House for use as an athletic field (now Snell Field) and in 1927 she gave 600 acres of former Clarkson family estate lands to the college. Her dream was to see the college relocated to the hill. In that same year, she deeded over Holcroft House, her ancestral home, where she lived most of her life. At Annie’s death on October 2, 1929, the bulk of her estate came to the College, valued at over $1.2 million (over $20.5 million in 2022 dollars).
Clarkson University established the “Miss Annie Society” in 1993 to carry forward Annie’s passionate philanthropic journey and to honor all those who plan deferred gifts to Clarkson. In 2007, the society was renamed the “Annie Clarkson Society” to better reflect Annie’s dynamic role as a founder and visionary of the University.
Annie’s philanthropic example included more than just an estate gift. She also made annual gifts and volunteered her time, and she made larger gifts to special projects and unconventional gifts such as real estate. So in 2011 the Annie Society grew again to better serve Clarkson and honor all of Annie’s life and example. Our education and service mission grew to include outright as well as deferred gift planning strategies. Now we may also serve and educate a younger generation dealing with new economic realities and just beginning to explore their philanthropy. Formerly, members of the Society embraced our mission and created lifelong relationships with Clarkson through their estate plans. Now the Society also offers membership to those who have created lifelong relationships at Clarkson by establishing endowments at the University.
The mission of the Annie Clarkson Society is to ensure the Clarkson experience for students today and tomorrow. The Society recognizes as members alumni, parents and friends who have planned a deferred gift or created an endowment for Clarkson. The Society encourages and helps others consider outright and deferred gift strategies through service and education programs. The Annie Society allows us to join Annie through our own individual philanthropic legacies as together we ensure the Clarkson experience.
Who May Become a Member?
Annie Clarkson Society members have created an estate provision or life income gift, and/or have funded an endowment at Clarkson. Your age and the size of your deferred gift do not matter for membership (there are minimum levels for life income gifts and endowed funds). Spouses are eligible for membership as well. Gift plans include:
- Creating a bequest provision for Clarkson in your will or living trust
- Naming Clarkson as a beneficiary of a retirement plan or donor-advised fund
- Designating Clarkson as owner and/or beneficiary of a life insurance policy
- Establishing a charitable gift annuity
- Establishing or naming Clarkson in a charitable remainder trust
- Establishing a life estate with your personal residence
- Creating an endowed fund at the University
Society members serve as role models as they allow the University to list their names on the Society roster and encourage other members of the Clarkson community to consider similar gifts. Members may share as much or as little information as they wish about any deferred gift plans; all information shared is kept in strict confidence. Members may also elect to remain anonymous within the Society.
Sharing information about your deferred gift plan allows the University to confirm that your gift may someday be used as you intend and to document your wishes. The value of your deferred or endowment gift plan might also count in your next anniversary reunion year and fundraising
Become a Member
The Annie Clarkson Society was established in 1993 to recognize and thank those who have planned deferred gifts for or created endowments at Clarkson. It is a way for us to say thank you for your generosity, and to encourage others to consider similar plans. Deferred gift members may share as much information about their gift plan as they wish. Any information shared is strictly confidential.