It was Adam Johnson, a Pelham carpenter, who in 1823 bequeathed $4,000, or two-thirds of his lifetime savings to Amherst. His gift provided for the building of a chapel at the new college on the hill.


You can make an unrestricted gift that offers Amherst the flexibility to use your funding where it is needed most. Gift planning staff would also be delighted to help you create a bequest for a purpose close to your heart on campus.

Outright Bequest - This is the most popular type of charitable bequest. You simply leave a specific dollar amount, percentage, or particular assets such as securities, real estate, or tangible personal property (works of art or rare books) to Amherst.

Residual Bequest - After all other specific bequests and expenses have been paid, Amherst receives all or a portion of what remains—the residual.

Contingent Bequest - Amherst College is named the contingent or next beneficiary should the primary beneficiary pre-decease you.

Testamentary Trust - A testamentary charitable remainder trust is created through a will and can provide income for a family member or friend. Amherst receives the remainder after a specified number of years or after the trust beneficiary dies.

Alternatively, by providing payments first to Amherst for a number of years, a testamentary lead trust can be used to pass assets to heirs with significant tax advantages to the estate.

Sample Language to use when making a bequest to Amherst College.

Contact Gift Planning

Janet Howard, Gift Planning Coordinator
Amherst College
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Information contained in this website should not be considered legal, accounting, or other professional advice. Individuals considering a planned gift to Amherst should consult with their financial advisor.