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ACGA 2014 Terry Simmons Scholarship Winners

The American Council on Gift Annuities has established an endowment fund to assist promising gift planners with their professional development. The Terry L. Simmons Philanthropic Endowment Fund provides scholarships to worthy individuals who would otherwise be unable to attend the Conference on Gift Annuities.

At the ACGA’s 2014 Conference in Baltimore, The Terry Simmons Scholarship Fund made grants to 3 gift planners so that they were able to attend the conference. The 2014 Scholarship recipients are:

Michelle Cline

Director of Planned Giving
Capital University
Columbus, Ohio 
Cynthia Oliver

Director of Advancement
Catholic Charities of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 Trish Roberts April 2014
Patricia Roberts

Development Director
St. Anthony Foundation
Carroll, Iowa

Were it not for Terry, the ACGA might not exist today and planned giving programs throughout the United States might be greatly diminished. In 1995, a class action lawsuit had been filed against the ACGA, its directors, and all charities that had followed the rates recommended by the ACGA or that had commingled funds in the investment of gift annuity reserves and charitable trust assets. Terry swung into action, creating Charitable Accord to rally support from charities, drafting legislation, and haunting the halls of Congress until it was enacted. The result of his efforts was three federal laws: The Charitable Antitrust Relief Act of 1995, the Charitable Donation Antitrust Immunity Act of 1997, and the Philanthropy Protection Act. The first two exempted gift annuities from antitrust law, enabling charities to follow common rates, and the third exempted the commingled funds from securities regulation. Since all of the laws were retroactive, the pending class action lawsuit was dismissed.

Terry also secured passage of a statute in Texas exempting gift annuities from the normal regulation applicable to insurance companies. That statute evolved into the model exemption act, which has now been adopted by numerous states, relieving charities of burdensome compliance requirements in those states.

If Terry had done nothing else, these legislative achievements would have been a tremendous legacy. However, he has done much more, including serving as conference chair and president of NCPG, being a founder of Charitable Gift Planning News, serving on the ACGA board, writing numerous articles on gift planning, and being a very popular speaker. His annual updates on legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments at NCPG and ACGA conferences were eagerly awaited.

At the peak of his career, having just been selected as one of the country’s top lawyers, Terry was struck by a car while crossing a street in Dallas. The injury has severely impaired his physical mobility and left him in almost constant pain. He is now largely confined to his home and has had to give up his law practice. Yet, he continues to keep abreast of professional and political developments and offer wise counsel as a participant in teleconference meetings.

ACGA is pleased and proud to support the 2014 Terry Simmons Scholars and we look forward to assisting aspiring gift planners at the 2016 ACGA Conference in St. Louis.

Click here to donate to the Terry Simmons Scholarship Fund.