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Office of Trusts, Estates, and Gift Planning
Cornell University
130 E Seneca Street, Suite 400
Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: 1-800-481-1865
Fax: 607-254-1204


A Cornell Experience That Keeps Paying Dividends

donor_14.pngFriendships, jobs, success: George and Roberta “Bobbie” Schneider owe most of the good things in their lives to their Cornell connections.

“They started at Cornell and flowed from there,” said George, now in his ninth year as a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the Johnson School. “We have a great feeling for the university.” George and Bobbie look forward to celebrating their many lasting connections to campus and classmates next spring in Ithaca at their 50th Reunion.

After graduating from the same high school, George came to Cornell to major in mechanical engineering, Bobbie in child development.
After a stint in the Navy, George spent more than 37 years in management positions, including CFO for a company run by Cornell trustee Eli Manchester and president and COO of a medical products company. “Although I never worked as an engineer, my degree was invaluable because it taught me how to think,” he said.

As they moved all over the Northeast, Bobbie worked as a teacher while raising their children, all Cornell graduates (two engineers and a history and government major). “I taught young children my entire career and really used my Cornell education,” she said.

After George retired, the couple moved back to Ithaca so George could start Cornell’s business incubator. They love it here. From their home by the golf course, they walk to campus and enjoy lectures, concerts, and sports—especially hockey.

In 2001, the Schneiders created a charitable remainder trust that will ultimately benefit Cornell University. Separately, they established a donor-advised fund account with the Cornell University Foundation that simplified their charitable giving. George says, “We found, from a tax standpoint, that putting the money with Cornell was the most efficient method for our long-term goals.”

The Schneiders have since elected the new endowment strategy for their trust that was made possible by a 2007 IRS ruling. The new strategy will help the Schneiders’ trust realize the same investment returns as the endowment and, in turn, they expect a larger gift benefiting Cornell’s students, academic programs, and facilities. “We both had scholarships, so it’s the right thing to do,” Bobbie said. “And it feels so good to give back.”