By Chandra Harris-McCray
In the rugged arms of the mountainous terrain of Pisgah National Forest, in a small cabin tucked near Webb Creek, the late Charles Postelle found inspiration.
His wooden hiking cane cut through the mugginess of the forest canopy and his boots gave way to the crisp crunch of leaves on trails less traveled.
Charles was on a journey of discovery, which many never have the courage to travel, or at the very least, many never have to face. After contracting hepatitis C in 1990 from a tainted blood transfusion, and later liver cancer, he fought every step of the way.
While never setting aside his love for painting and art, Charles deviated from the by-the-book way of teaching and introduced the classic sounds of Bach and Beethoven between science experiments in his high school chemistry classes. Such moments left an indelible impression on his former students, James Parks and David Puett.
James and David described their high school chemistry teacher as a man of many dimensions, who was always true to himself.
"He had a way of engaging students and co-mingling science lessons with life lessons," says James, associate head and director of undergraduate laboratories for the UT Department of Physics and Astronomy.
Unconventional, but Inspirational
Charles' seemingly unconventional ways refocused David's attention from high school athletics to chemistry, art and literature. Charles was an inspiration who created a foundation for David, which led him to the University of Georgia where he is a Regents professor and former head of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
Reared in a family of teachers, Charles initially taught biology and chemistry in the public school systems of Birmingham and North Carolina. After attending Princeton for two years, he completed his bachelor's degree in education at UT. After earning a master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Charles taught European and American history at Averett University until his retirement in 1984. The Danville, Va., institution honored his service with an honorary doctoral degree in 1999.
In the library entrance of Averett, two of Charles' oil paintings hang. One features the university's former president Dr. Conwell A. Anderson. The other is a portrait of library benefactor Mary B. Blount.
From Tapestry to Geography
His easel never sat empty and his hands quickly exchanged a hiking stick for a paintbrush. His small cabin in the Roseboro area near Linville, N.C., was the source of much inspiration.
Charles was an artist who could just as easily weave philosophical tales about the people of the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains, where he often traveled as a child to visit his grandparents.
Those tales accompanied by hot cups of coffee is how James, in his adulthood, would spend many of his summers. James eventually purchased a cabin not too far from Charles "and I looked forward to pulling up a chair and just listening to him."
Leaving His Mark at UT
Charles always had a hunger for learning. So it came as no surprise that he left a generous bequest for distinguished professorships in nuclear engineering and biochemistry at UT.
Just as he was devoted to the mountains, art and teaching, he was devoted to UT.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University Of Tennessee a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.
an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan
"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The University Of Tennessee [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."
able to be changed or cancelled
A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.
cannot be changed or cancelled
tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient
the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation
the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase
the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on
The person receiving the gift annuity payments.
the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid
a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will
the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will
A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to UT or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.
An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.
Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.
Securities, real estate, or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.
Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.
A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.
You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the gift tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.
You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to UT as a lump sum.
You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to UT as a lump sum.
A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.
A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and UT where you agree to make a gift to UT and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.