“MIT had a defining effect on me and on what I’ve been able to accomplish,” says Donald Paul, who recently established a charitable remainder unitrust that will be invested in the MIT endowment to support the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).
“A charitable unitrust creates an excellent combination of benefits,” Paul says. “It provides an attractive withdrawal rate and income stream; it generates current and ongoing tax efficiencies; it is an excellent asset diversification vehicle by being invested with the endowment, providing a good balance of growth and stability; and most important, it allows me to fulfill my ambition to give back to MIT. It has just the right balance.”
Paul received three degrees from MIT: a bachelor’s in mathematics in 1967, followed by a master’s and a PhD in earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences in 1969 and 1977. After MIT, he joined Chevron, embarking on a 33-year career in energy and technology management; he retired in 2008 as vice president and chief technology officer. Within Chevron, he held a variety of positions in technology, oil and gas operations, and executive management, including a stint as president of the company’s Canadian subsidiary. He is widely known in the energy industry for his extensive involvement in developing R&D partnerships with governments and universities.
Since retiring, he has launched a second career, joining the faculty of the University of Southern California as executive director of the USC Energy Institute and the William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources. He remains active in energy issues in Washington, DC, as a senior advisor to the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a member of the United States Energy Association.
Paul says he chose to construct his support for EAPS so that the department would have maximum flexibility in using the resources in the future. “I wanted to do something worthwhile for MIT and also do something that makes good sense in managing my long-term financial position,” he says. “This is a great time to invest in a unitrust.”
Donors can now establish trusts invested in the MIT endowment and benefit from its diversified investment portfolio. The income paid by such trusts has the potential to increase over time as the endowment does.