A Memorable Homecoming
During half-time ceremonies at a Norwich-Mt. Ida football game, William Pollock '64 stood on the 50-yard line at Sabine Field and received his Partridge Society One-Star General pin. Flanked by Brigadier General Richard W. Schneider on one side and Four-Star General Gordon R. Sullivan '59 on the other, Mr. Pollock felt like the center of a veritable constellation. "I didn't know I would be surrounded by so many stars," he mused. "I counted six stars next to my one star. I never dreamed that this master sergeant would have two generals recognize me!"
Mr. Pollock's halftime recognition was the high point of his first visit back to campus in nearly 30 years. An avid supporter of Norwich since his days as a student, he had faithfully followed Norwich sports teams, but had only make it back to campus once since graduation. Despite three decades away from "The Hill," his fondness for the University had not waned, and he knew it was time to give something back.
When approached about a larger gift, he thought back on the many experiences he'd had at Norwich, and began looking for a meaningful way to pay back the school for giving him a great start in the Army and life.
Mr. Pollock refers to his time at Norwich saying, "I was the oddball out," but found his niche in the mess hall and with the football team, first as a player and then as manager his senior year. Though admittedly not a good marcher, Mr. Pollock feels that the structure and self-discipline instilled in him at Norwich gave him the tools to overcome challenges and succeed, both as a young cadet and in the life that followed.
In making a significant gift to the University, his greatest challenge was figuring out how to be as generous as possible without putting his own financial status at risk. A retired master sergeant with twenty years of service in the Army, Mr. Pollock was being supported by a modest retirement pension and an inherited stock portfolio. His goal was finding a way to supplement his income in the current economic environment without drawing down principle.
For Mr. Pollock the solution was simple: establish a charitable gift annuity that would give him a guaranteed fixed income for life. With the help of the Norwich Planned Giving Office, he irrevocably donated a portion of his stock portfolio to the University in exchange for a guaranteed fixed income that is now paying him a higher rate of return than he is able to earn in the market. Through a charitable gift annuity, he was able to secure his financial position while at the same time making a generous gift to Norwich. It was the perfect solution.
Upon returning to "The Hill," Mr. Pollock marveled at all the new facilities, thrilled that his money is helping to improve student life and student learning. "When I was here we had a nickname for Norwich - we used to call it 'Uncle Ernie's Chicken Farm,'" he laughed. "I barely recognize it now!"
Despite these outward changes, Mr. Pollock firmly believes that Norwich still embodies the same values and mission as when he was a student, and he hopes that others will be similarly inspired to give back to the extent of their ability. "I would hope that, 10-15-20-30 years down the pipe, others will remember back to when they were a little nobody, and Norwich was nice enough to think they were somebody, so maybe they can spread the wealth, right?"