An Artful Trust

November 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Virginia Puzak set up a charitable lead trust to help both Carleton and her family

Virginia Puzak

Virginia Puzak has been a longtime supporter of Carleton, the alma mater of her husband, Nicholas Puzak ’37, and her son, Nicholas J. Puzak ’81. When she first heard about plans for the Weitz Center for Creativity, she couldn’t help but think of her own alma mater, Skidmore College, which had added the Tang Teaching Museum and Gallery a few years earlier. “The Tang is an educational building that adds to the local community. I know the Arts Union will be a wonderful addition to Carleton in the same way,” she says. “Both the College and the town of Northfield will benefit.”

Puzak is one of the Weitz Center’s earliest supporters; her gift of $1.25 million will endow Carleton’s director of the arts position, which is currently held by Steve Richardson ’86.

To help manage her gift, Puzak set up a charitable lead trust. Her assets are held in a trust, and charities, including Carleton, receive annual payments for a set period of time. Remaining funds ultimately revert to Puzak’s heirs, an arrangement that reduces her transfer taxes while supporting an institution she admires, and providing for her children.

The gift was an ideal fit. “Carleton has made our family’s life much fuller,” Puzak says. “We always knew supporting the College was the right decision.”