Why We Give: Mary Giannini ’66 and Art Harlow

Paying It Forward With Planned Gifts

Mary Giannini ’66 and her husband Art Harlow live in Spokane, Washington. They are valued members of the School’s Ka Punahou Society, a donor recognition group established in 1996 to thank and honor donors who have included a gift for Punahou in their estate or charitable gift plans.

Mary Giannini ’66 and her husband Art Harlow made their first revocable planned gift to Punahou with a life insurance policy designation in 2016. Giannini says she made that particular gift because she had realized how easy it would be to name Punahou as a beneficiary, and learned that the entire face value of the policy would be counted as her Reunion gift. “It was so simple to do, and I was so glad to give back to Punahou in honor of my 50th Reunion.” 

However, Giannini’s commitment to giving back to Punahou didn’t stop there. She recently also decided to include Punahou in her estate plan, expanding her support for students at Punahou today. She wound up making two new types of planned gifts: a bequest as well as a retirement plan beneficiary designation. What makes Giannini’s gifts stand out is not just the three different types of gift planning utilized – a bequest through her will, a beneficiary designation for her life insurance, and a gift of the remaining balance of her retirement plan – but the way she strategically directed them. Her gifts are dedicated to supporting new and existing endowed funds that provide financial aid as well as faculty professional training. 

Giannini entered Punahou in 1962 as a ninth grade boarder from Hawai‘i Island, and was one of the last students to reside on campus. She received financial aid from the School, which she says was tremendously helpful in allowing her parents to send her all the way to O‘ahu. “I received financial aid, and it made all the difference for me. I can’t imagine where I would be without it. Punahou really changed the direction of my life, and I owe so much of my career in law to the drive and skills I learned at Punahou,” she shared. Giannini believes the wonderful education she received at Punahou set her on a unique path through business school, law school and ultimately health law. 

Reflecting on the transformative role her education played, Giannini said “I had absolutely wonderful teachers who supported me, inspired me and instilled a love of learning. So, when I thought about giving back, supporting Punahou just felt right. There are many causes I care about, but education, especially at Punahou, is where my heart is. I hope my gifts will offer students like me the opportunity to attend Punahou, and I hope they will help make sure Punahou continues having the best faculty possible. Punahou gave me so much, and I’m just thrilled to be able to give back now.”

For more information about tax-wise gifts, contact Director of Gift Planning Carrie Ogami, J.D. at cogami@punahou.edu or 808-944-5845.

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