William E. "Bill" Bruner II, M.D., comes from a family steeped in tradition of involvement at Case Western Reserve University.
His mother, Polly, a double alumna, "was very active," he said." When Western Reserve University and the Case Institute of Technology merged in 1967, she was one of the first women to serve on the board of trustees."
Dr. Bruner continues this tradition of service. The 1975 alumnus of the School of Medicine is a member of the University's board of trustees and a former member of the boards of the Medical Alumni Association and the Cleveland Medical Library Association. He also teaches medical students and residents as a clinical professor of ophthalmology.
Both his mother and his father, Clark, set an example for him in terms of philanthropy. "They got me started in that realm," said Dr. Bruner, adding that one way his parents supported the University was through gift annuities.
His parents preferred the immediate income distributions provided by gift annuities. Dr. Bruner, however, chose to defer income until retirement by establishing deferred payment gift annuities.
Deferred payment gift annuities appeal to those who are young and have financial obligations, as well as those who are self-employed and need to secure their own retirement.
Dr. Bruner fits both criteria. He is a partner with University Ophthalmology Associates at the University Suburban Health Center in South Euclid, Ohio. He and his wife, Susan, have an adult daughter Amanda, who teaches kindergarten at Hawken School, and an adult son Andrew, who is a first-year student in the School of Dental Medicine.
"The deferred payment gift annuity has allowed me to give more than I might otherwise be able to give," said Dr. Bruner.
This type of annuity can be established for as little as $5,000, allowing a younger donor to direct a portion of his or her income to an annuity each year and benefit from a substantial income-tax deduction. The future income from the annuity is also guaranteed by Case Western Reserve University.
Because they are so safe and certain, young philanthropists like Dr. Bruner set themselves a goal of establishing a new one each year.
Eventually, Dr. Bruner's deferred payment gift annuities will support research and projects at the University in areas of importance to his family: ophthalmology, the Cleveland Health Sciences Library, and geriatric neurology.
"Another nice thing is that you can decide when you want to have a payout—in five years or ten years or whenever," he said." So if you're planning to retire at 65, then you can start to have it pay at 65, or if you're going to work until 70, then you can delay the payments and get more interest."