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Gift & Estate Planning

A Lasting Thank You

Margaret Chamberlain in 1932

Margaret Chamberlain in 1932

When asked in 2001 how she felt about joining the JBS Class of 1932 her junior year, the late Margaret Chamberlain Hamilton said, "It was like Dorothy arriving in the Land of Oz. I loved the things I saw. I was scared. I didn't have any idea how I was going to make it." But Margaret ended up thriving at JBS, rising quickly through the ranks to become the "speaker of the class" at graduation.

After graduation she enrolled at Washington University, but was forced to drop out at the end of the first semester due to her father's death. Twenty-two years later, in 1954, Margaret returned to Washington University as a full-time student. She said that JBS had "lit a small flame inside," inspiring her to pursue her college education, learn about the real world and gain some degree of competence so she could qualify for an interesting job.

She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Psychology in 1957 and 1960, respectively. She also completed a portion of the work toward her PhD. Margaret went on to work for the Special School District in a pilot program for children with learning challenges.

According to Margaret, her entire life was changed by attending JBS. She never forgot the caring faculty who inspired her and the challenging, progressive education she received. She credited the Burroughs faculty with opening her mind.

"There was not one book Mr. Neville ever mentioned that I didn't read," recalled Margaret. "Plus, Dr. Haertter taught me three years of math in one year with such skill that I never felt unprepared."

Class of 1932 – John Burroughs School

Class of 1932 – John Burroughs School

In appreciation for the education she received at Burroughs, Margaret and her late husband, Hugh Hamilton, established a charitable gift annuity at Burroughs. In addition to giving the Hamiltons a fixed amount of income each year for the remainder of their lives, the annuity ultimately funded the Margaret Chamberlain Hamilton Memorial Scholarship (Hugh passed away in 2002; Margaret in 2007) which provides tuition support for one Burroughs student each year.

When asked about her reasons for establishing the scholarship at JBS, Margaret said, "Burroughs gave me confidence in my own capacity to move forward, and it is my favorite charity, period. The nicest thing about it is that I can say ‘thank you.'"

Make a Lasting Impact
Through the years, alumni, parents, grandparents and friends of JBS have made a profound impact on the learning experience of Burroughs students through estate planning. To learn more, simply contact Ginger Imster at 314-993-4045, ext. 256 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Burroughs a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

Bequest Language

The official legal bequest language for John Burroughs School is: "I give to John Burroughs School, a nonprofit educational institution located at 755 South Price Road, St. Louis, Missouri 63124 and incorporated under the laws of the State of Missouri, the sum of $_______ [or the following described property or a designated percentage of my estate], to be used for its general educational purposes."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to JBS or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to JBS as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to JBS as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and JBS where you agree to make a gift to JBS and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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