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Wake Forest and Dr. Brooks Webster Gilmore ('51) both have deep roots in Chatham County, North Carolina.
The idea to establish Wake Forest originated at the Baptist State Convention in 1832, at Rives Chapel Church in Chatham County, where a resolution was passed to found what would become Wake Forest University.
Dr. Gilmore is a descendant of William Tell Brooks, who grew up on 100 acres in the county and was a member of Wake Forest's first graduating class in 1839. Brooks was a professor of ancient languages from 1846 to 1858 and served as chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1870 to 1880.
"William Tell Brooks lived for a period in the Calvin Jones House and was married by Samuel Wait, the first president of Wake Forest," said Dr. Gilmore. "He is buried in the Wake Forest Cemetery."
Dr. Gilmore eventually followed Brooks to campus to earn a degree in biology. After receiving his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, he practiced internal medicine in Greensboro, N.C., for 40 years.
When Dr. Gilmore and his wife, Dawn, began considering their estate plans, there was the matter of that undeveloped 100 acres in Chatham County—land that had belonged in the family since 1755. Acting upon the advice of an estate-planning attorney, they decided to donate the land to Wake Forest to fund a charitable remainder unitrust.
"We wanted to relieve our four children of the burden of deciding what to do with the property," Dr. Gilmore explained. "We named Wake Forest the remainder beneficiary of the unitrust because of the historical connection to the property and my allegiance as an alumnus."
A charitable remainder unitrust with Wake Forest provides security for the donors while ultimately helping the University. By donating the land, the Gilmores will receive lifetime payments, a variable amount based on a percentage of the trust assets as revalued annually. The year the gift was made, they received a sizable charitable income-tax deduction equal to the present value of the remainder interest ultimately payable to Wake Forest.
At the Gilmores' deaths, the remaining trust assets will benefit Wake Forest.
"We want the proceeds to be divided equally between the Brooks and Dawn Gilmore Scholarship in the College and the Wake Forest College Birthplace Society," Dr. Gilmore said.
In this way, the Gilmores' deep roots in the land will grow success for future generations of Wake Forest students.
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