Alumni Planned Gifts Create Scholarships for Future Students

O. J. Hart DonorAs St. Albans sharpens efforts to increase endowment for financial aid, the School is delighted that alumni are using planned giving both to create and, over the years, add to named scholarships. The Bulletin recently spoke with two alumni—Oliver J. "Jim" Hart '41 and Charles "Skip" Orem '46—who have made generous gifts to the School by creating charitable remainder unitrusts, or CRUTs. A CRUT pays the beneficiary a variable amount for life; the balance goes to St. Albans. In the right circumstances, a CRUT can increase income, reduce taxes, unlock appreciated investments, and ultimately provide important support to the School.

Skip Orem '46, a retired U.S. Navy commander, in 1995 created and in 2011 generously added to a CRUT to support a scholarship in his name. The fund will support sons of active duty members of the United States military who are committed to high standards of character, leadership, and academic excellence. Orem describes the CRUT as a "win—win situation," providing income for himself and his wife, Gerry, while allowing him to make a "statement of appreciation" for what he received at St. Albans in the 1940s.

Charles  Orem DonorPeter Moore The son of a U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, Orem started at St. Albans in Form III. In 1950 he graduated from the Naval Academy. He served first on surface ships and then submarines, including the second U.S. nuclear sub. After receiving a degree in engineering, he served on nuclear ballistic missile subs, rising to become commander of the U.S.S. Simon Bolivar. He later served as a submarine specialist in the Pentagon's Office of Naval Operations. In 1970, having retired from the military, Orem went into business, overseeing planning and development at Babcock & Wilcox and later serving as president and CEO of an Axel Johnson subsidiary, Bird Johnson, a leading supplier of ship propulsion equipment.

Today, Orem and his wife, Gerry, live on the Maine Coast, where they spend some time looking out the window at the beautiful cove in front of their home and much of their time volunteering. Orem recently wrote a strategic plan for the Maine Maritime Museum, and he sings (bass baritone) with Gerry in the choir at the First Parish Church, UCC, in Brunswick, Maine. Recalling St. Albans Headmaster Albert Hawley Lucas, Orem notes: "The Chief imbued in us service to others. That carries through your working life into your retirement."

Orem continues to value his St. Albans education, especially "the character, influence, and personal attention" of each of his teachers, including Headmaster Lucas. Said Orem, "We were a very lucky group of boys to be overseen by those men. They were wonderful—in every sense of the word. They directed, cajoled—sometimes berated—us into doing just what youngsters should be doing. They imbued us with a set of principles that helped us succeed."

Asked why he supports St. Albans today, Orem responded: "Because this country needs the resources generated by institutions like St. Albans. St. Albans stands among the topmost institutions that create leaders and doers who are good for the United States of America."

Oliver J. "Jim" Hart '41, a retired engineer who later taught electrical engineering as an adjunct professor at Widener University, in 2002 created and over the years has continued to make substantial donations to a CRUT that will eventually fund the Right Rev. Oliver James Hart Endowed Scholarship, named for his father, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania from 1943–63. The scholarship will assist sons of the Christian clergy.

Hart, who now lives with his wife, Carolyn, in Sarasota, Fla., and Castine, Maine, came to St. Albans and to Washington, D.C., from Tennessee when his father received the call as rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Square from the White House. Hart recalls that Lower School Head Alfred True, uncertain whether the little Southern boy could keep up, administered a test to confirm his placement in A Form. Hart still values the education he received at St. Albans, especially lessons learned from biologist Hubert Shaw and math teacher Ed Smith. As a senior, Jim learned that he and two classmates—Sam Sterrett '41, whose father served as rector of All Souls Church in the District, and Jim Cocke '41, whose father led the All Saints Parish in Chevy Chase—had benefited from scholarship assistance then available at St. Albans to ministers' sons. Hart created his CRUT both in appreciation for the support he received at St. Albans and to honor his father, whose pastoral roles ranged from chaplaincy service during World Wars I and II to the Pennsylvania bishopric.

We thank Skip Orem and Jim Hart for providing these wonderful lead gifts as the School makes a significant push to expand its endowed financial aid resources.