Donor Stories and Legacies


’59 Grads Leverage Structured Gifts to Advance ACE

Joe Mulligan and Vince Naimoli
Joe Mulligan and Vince Naimoli from Class of 1959

During the June 2009 reunion, the Class of 1959 presented a remarkable gift to Notre Dame: over $25 million in outright and planned gift contributions. The presentation was the culmination of a three-year fundraising effort by reunion gift committee chairmen Joe Mulligan and Vince Naimoli and their 1959 classmates and spouses. More than 70 percent of ’59 alumni participated in the gift.

The class elected to make the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) a priority for giving. “We wanted to develop a unique partnership with ACE,” said Naimoli. “I am so proud that Notre Dame has taken on the cause of primary and secondary Catholic education, and I’ve seen the difference it has made in my home diocese of St. Petersburg, Fla. I know Bishop Robert Lynch is grateful for the work of the ACE volunteers.”

Launched at Notre Dame in 1994, ACE trains high-quality teachers for under-resourced Catholic schools throughout the United States. Today, Notre Dame is the largest provider of Catholic K-12 teachers in the country. Through ACE, recent college graduates enroll in summer courses at Notre Dame, teach in schools in 20 archdioceses and dioceses for two years, and graduate from the University with a master’s degree in education.

Both Mulligan and Naimoli supported ACE with a planned gift; Mulligan created a charitable gift annuity (CGA) that will provide him with quarterly payments for his lifetime. “For me, getting guaranteed income in this economy—not to mention the tax deduction—was extremely attractive,” he says.

Naimoli opted to set up a charitable remainder trust that will provide him and his wife, Lenda, with income based on the performance of the Notre Dame Endowment. “I really like the idea of putting my money in the endowment where it can grow over the long term,” he says. “For many of our classmates and their wives, this option has allowed them to make a gift now that will grow into a sizeable family legacy.”

Throughout the reunion gift solicitation process, Mulligan and Naimoli encouraged classmates to make gifts at the level that worked best for them and their families, but their focus was not solely financial. “We also encouraged them to become involved with ACE and support their local Catholic schools,” says Mulligan. “Our classmates are now volunteering considerable time and talent to help save Catholic education in this country.”

For many in the Class of 1959, the option of making a planned gift in honor of their reunion allowed them to become involved in a significant way, despite the pressures of a down market economy. Some, like Mulligan and Naimoli, created income-producing gifts such as CGAs or trusts; many others simply included Notre Dame in their wills, or made the University a beneficiary of their IRAs. “The options are endless in support of a very important cause,” says Naimoli.