You can take Dr. Robert Kiesel, MD (ophthalmology) '60 and Matilda "Tillie" Smith Kiesel, RN '59 out of Albany, but you'll never take Albany out of this couple. They discovered their love for Albany Medical Collegeand each other50 years ago during the first week of classes.
The Kiesels have big hearts and a dedicated commitment to giving back. The couple always felt a strong commitment toward giving back to Albany Medical College so that someone else would enjoy the opportunities they had. That principle guides them to this day, as the Kiesels open doors for new generations of Albany Medical College students through their wide-ranging and thoughtful generosity. "We're motivated by our love for the college," says Dr. Kiesel. "It's a very special place for us, and it is just wonderful that we can give something back to the institution that gave so much to us."
With help from the Medical Center's gift planning office, the Kiesels included a series of charitable gifts as part of their personal financial plan and became members of the Pillars Society. The plan includes a charitable gift annuity which establishes the Matilda Smith Kiesel, RN '59 Endowed Nursing Scholarship at Albany Medical Center; IRA assets dedicated to unrestricted support for Albany Medical College; and a life insurance policy which will fund The Robert Kiesel, MD '60 Endowed Professorship within the Sosa Academy. Ever dedicated to the nursing profession Mrs. Kiesel's nursing scholarship helps Albany Medical Center employees interested in pursuing or furthering a career in nursing.
"In this day and age, there are so many worthy charities," says Dr. Kiesel. "We decided to narrow our focus to organizations that had the most influence in our lives."
The Kiesels are eager to encourage others to explore a wide variety of gift options. Albany Medical College was high on their list and made it easy for them to create gifts which benefited future members of the healing professions. While other institutions looked for cash gifts, Dr. Kiesel says the Medical Center was willing to be flexible. "Donating the IRA was a wonderful way to contribute a large sum without giving up cash." And, he adds, "It was great for financial planning."
"We are not wealthy people," he explains. "We just work hard."
"We've always been mindful of Albany," says Dr. Kiesel. It is here that they began their lives together, and here that they enjoyed a "superb educationthe best we've ever seenand we've seen many other places since then." That sentiment surely resonates with alumni far and wide who, like them, take fond memories of Albany Medical College with them wherever they go.
It is this place that is in their hearts. Half a century after meeting here, the two are of one mind: "Once you leave Albany, it always stays with you."
To learn more about how you can make a gift to Albany Medical College, or to inform us that you've already included a gift in your plans, please contact Laura O'Brien at (518) 262-6835, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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