The Story of a Gift

Christopher Kendall

  • Article
  • January 13, 2021


The word evokes a sense of history and purpose, of a life well-lived, and of a story that lives on.

The National Association of Scholars is all about legacies. We honor the legacy of Western Civilization, which has brought incalculable benefits to billions of people and shaped the history of our great nation. We defend the legacy of the classical liberal arts, which has shaped the minds and character of students toward virtuous citizenship. And we cherish the legacy of liberty on which America was founded, and of which we all are beneficiaries.

These are grand legacies indeed, but they are not the whole story. Each was shaped by the actions of men and women who left their own legacies, and who we celebrate today.

One legacy that is close to our heart at NAS is the legacy of Peter Shaw, our first chairman and a founding member of the National Association of Scholars. Peter embodied the scholarly life as an exemplar of intellectual rigor and honesty and was a fearless champion of the heritage of Western Civilization. Through his life’s work, he laid the foundation for an “edifice of ideals” that will endure so long as there are those willing to carry on its memory.

As a way of honoring Peter and his legacy, the NAS has inaugurated the Shaw Legacy Society. The Shaw Legacy Society is made up of those who have given thought to their own legacy, and who have opted to make the NAS a part of that. Through the Shaw Legacy Society, NAS honors those who, like Peter, are dedicated to building an enduring edifice of ideals and securing them for the coming generations.

Recently, I had the occasion to speak with a longtime member and friend of the NAS, Dr. Kaare Strøm, about his legacy. Dr. Strøm, a distinguished professor of political science at the University of California, San Diego, was thinking through his own legacy, and he wanted to make the National Association of Scholars a part of it. And so he reached out to inquire about setting up a Charitable Gift Annuity with the NAS.

A charitable gift annuity is a form of legacy giving that allows you, the donor, to make a donation to a single charity, usually with some form of stock or other appreciated asset. The charity then sets aside that gift in a reserve account and invests it. At a set point agreed upon by you and the charity, the charity provides a fixed payout supported by the investment account for the rest of your life (and your spouse’s as well, if you’re giving as a couple). The remainder of the gift then goes to the charity.

This was a new mode of giving for NAS, something that we’ve never embarked on before. But thanks to Dr. Strøm’s generosity and insightful suggestion, we have launched this new program. And we are now pleased to be able to make this available to all our members.

As we move into this new year, I encourage you to take a moment to think about your own legacy. How do you want to be remembered, and how do you want those things you’ve defended throughout your life to live on? The National Association of Scholars is proud to support the legacies of our members — men and women who exemplify what the pursuit of truth, scholarly inquiry, and the heritage of Western civilization mean. And we would be honored to support you as well.

If you would like to speak with someone at the NAS about making a legacy gift, joining the Peter Shaw Legacy Society, or opening up a Charitable Gift Annuity, please reach out to me, Chris Kendall, at [email protected].

Christopher Kendall is Director of Development at the National Association of Scholars.

Image: Jess Bailey, Public Domain

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