Bequests are an important and meaningful source of support for Wellesley. Since 1875, thousands of alumnae, parents, faculty, and friends have made bequests—providing a legacy of support for the education of women who will make a difference in the world.

A bequest is a gift made at death through your estate plan. If you have a will or trust, or plan to create one, consider including a gift for Wellesley. A bequest can be made for a specific dollar amount, or for a percentage, a fraction, or the balance of your residuary estate. You can give cash, personal property, real estate, securities, insurance policies, or retirement plan assets. Or you may choose to create a trust, providing income to another individual for life, with the trust principal coming to the College upon the death of the income beneficiary.

NEW! If you have celebrated your 50th reunion or will do so in the next five years, you can receive gift credit for your documented bequest intention. Learn more >

If you have not yet celebrated your 50th reunion and will not do so in the next five years, but wish to notify the College that you have a bequest intention for Wellesley, please complete this form.

The information below provides an overview of common types of bequest arrangements, including sample language for designating your gift.

Outright Bequests

The outright bequest is the simplest way to make a bequest to the College. With such a bequest, you simply direct in your will that a specific amount of money, property, or other holdings be transferred to Wellesley. Of course, your estate will be entitled to a charitable deduction for the full, fair-market value of your gift.

Sample language for an outright bequest:

I give Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, _____ dollars ($_____).
I give Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, ___ percent (___%) of my estate.

Contingent Bequests

The contingent bequest provides for family and friends and will benefit the College only if the named beneficiaries predecease you.

Sample language for a contingent bequest:

I give, devise, and bequeath to my sister, Mary Wilson, the sum of _____ dollars ($_____). In the event she shall predecease me, I direct this sum be paid to Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Designating a Bequest

Although an unrestricted bequest is of special value, allowing the College to use it however needed, many Wellesley donors have special interests that they may wish to support. You may designate the use of your bequest for such purposes as financial aid or faculty salary advancement. A bequest may also be used to create an individually named permanent endowment fund. Please see the minimums for endowed funds here.

For purposes of legally naming the College in a bequest, the College's corporate name should be used: Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts.

If you wish to designate a bequest for a specific fund or purpose, please discuss your plans with the Office of Gift Planning to make sure the College can fulfill your wishes.

Retirement Plan Assets

By naming "Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts" as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, you can eliminate estate and income taxes on the funds. This combination of taxes can otherwise take up to 60-80% of your asset. Your beneficiary form can designate a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the total to Wellesley College. Please contact your plan administrator for the necessary forms.

Create a Legacy

Join the Wellesley Legacy Society for legacy donors. Read more >


For questions and assistance, please contact the Office of Gift Planning at or call 800.358.3543.