Colorado College has received more than $2.3 million from the James W. Austin Charitable Remainder Unitrust, which will go toward a scholarship fund providing unrestricted financial aid.
The gift originally was made in May 1993 by James Austin ’29, and remains the single largest life income gift in the history of Colorado College.
The funds establish the James W. and Esther Austin Scholarship Fund, in memory of Austin and his wife. Austin’s initial gift was $2,173,259, establishing a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust. Austin received payments from his unitrust until his death in 1997. Payments then went to two successor beneficiaries, the second of whom died in August 2009. The remaining principal and interest of the unitrust, which came to $2,313,877 after paying Austin and the successor beneficiaries more than 16 years, now come to CC to establish the scholarship fund.
Austin was a pilot in WWII, serving as chief of Staff Air Transport Command, China. Following the war, he went to work for Capital Airlines, where he instituted the nation’s first air coach service. He later became president and chairman of Northeast Airlines. Upon retiring from the airline business, he became vice president of Hughes Hotel Properties and Hughes Tool Co., and a consultant with Hughes Airwest and the Summa Corporation.
Austin was an alumni trustee at Colorado College from 1958–60. The Alumni Association gave Austin the Louis Benezet Award in 1991 for outstanding professional achievements.