Stanley and Linda Panitz: A Heart of Giving Seeks Solutions

The way Stanley Panitz sees it, Johns Hopkins gave him more than a degree in political science. The Baltimore resident, who graduated from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences in 1943, believes the university gave him a firm foundation in life. Through four years in the Navy into his career as a successful businessman, it was his Johns Hopkins education that, he says, "made me a good citizen with a strong interest in politics. It was an education that stuck with me all my life."

So when Stan and his wife, Linda Hambleton Panitz, decided that it was time to sell their summer house on Martha's Vineyard, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back to Johns Hopkins. They sold the property and used a portion of the proceeds to establish a charitable remainder unitrust for the university. Such a trust gives them annual payments of a specified percentage—at least 5 percent of the value of the trust as it is valued each year. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, the remainder of the gift will benefit the Krieger School.

Because of Stan and Linda's generosity, an endowed graduate fellowship fund will be established in the political science department. The fellowship fund will support graduate-level scholarship focused on discourse, debate, and the generation of knowledge relevant to the goal of achieving peace in the Middle East.

"We are interested in the Middle East and its problems," he says. "Jerusalem is the heart of the Muslim world, the heart of the Jewish world, the heart of the Christian world." Stan, who is Jewish, is interested in the study of how Israel, the only non-Arabic country in the Middle East, can survive given today's troubled climate. He envisions scholarship around such critical issues as suicide bombings—"they're a terrible threat to civilization," he fears.

Ultimately, Stan and Linda hope their gift will go toward a commitment to seek solutions. "How can the Middle East assimilate with the West? How can peace and respect occur between these two different civilizations?" he wonders.

"Our gift is peanuts compared to what is needed to solve this problem—but we are very pleased to feel that our legacy at Johns Hopkins is earmarked for this important subject," Stan says. "It is gratifying, and we are happy to have given it. We are most appreciative that these funds will be used for an educational process that will become helpful and that may lead to a solution to the problem."

Gift vehicle used: Charitable remainder unitrust

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