By Berno Hamilton '55

When I graduated from Episcopal High School in 1955, my achievements were few except for the diploma. Still only 17 years old, I decided to return for a post-graduate year, which in hindsight was one of the best decisions of my life. Becoming a Monitor, serving on the Honor Committee and on the Hop Committee, competing on the varsity football and basketball teams, serving as vice president of Glee Club, and singing in the choir, all gave my self-confidence a real boost. Academically, I was probably too well-prepared for UVA, which allowed me to excel in the social aspects of college.    

I have always appreciated the work ethic instilled in me by teachers like Mr. Ravenel and Mr. Carlson, so as an alumnus, finding ways to give back has remained a priority. As a supporter of the Roll Call every year since graduation, I had never 

made a significant capital contribution to the School, thinking that I would eventually leave something in my will.  

During my 50-plus years in the money management world, I occasionally got lucky. In the spring of 2013, an investment I made in the 1990s in a 3-D printing company suddenly began to appreciate at a spectacular rate. Suddenly I found myself in possession of a low cost, non-dividend paying stock that seemed very overpriced. Because I desired to "pay back" some of the institutions that have meant so much to me ­- EHS, UVA and my church - I decided that setting up a gift annuity would be a win-win situation.  

By establishing a gift annuity, I received an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of my gift, and my wife and I will continue to receive a dependable fixed income for life. At the time of my passing, the School will receive the remaining balance of my gift annuity - and if all goes according to plan, I will still be able to leave something in my will. One of my biggest joys is that I have been able to establish these gifts during my lifetime, knowing that the organizations I care most about will continue to benefit even after I am gone.     

To learn more about gift annuities, or if you are interested in including a charitable gift to EHS in your estate plans, contact Kent Alley at 703-933-4026 or