Seven generations of Peter Flagg Maxson's ancestors peer down from portraits in his Austin, Texas, home. Two of those faces were partially responsible for his decision to leave Texas for an undergraduate experience 'neath the elms in 1965: his great-great-grandfather Jared Flagg, Class of 1848, and grandfather Harry Maxson, Class of 1909. As Harry's youngest grandson and last hope to continue the family legacy, Peter Flagg Maxson ultimately chose to attend Trinity because it was the "best and most distant college" of those he applied to.
On campus, in addition to learning "how to think and reason, to write, and enjoy [his] love of reading," Maxson became enamored with the Long Walk buildings, a passion that would inform his future profession. In part inspired by Professor John Taylor's art history classes, Maxson went on to enjoy a 30-year career as an architectural historian. He continues to consider the Long Walk to be nationally significant and was very impressed by the recent $32.9 million renovation and restoration of those buildings
For his 40th Reunion, Maxson and his partner, Jack Taylor, made a $100,000 life income gift, which will ultimately create a new endowed fund to help make possible future restorations of the Long Walk. Through a two-life deferred payment gift annuity, Maxson and Taylor were able to convert highly appreciated, low-yielding securities into payments that will return 6.2 percent of their gift each year for the rest of their lives. With the gift, they eliminated a significant portion of their capital gain, greatly increased the income benefit from those assets, and received an immediate charitable deduction.
"I believe that the College is as good or better than in my tenure and I feel an obligation to help Trinity, in a small way, through the next century," says Maxson. "While we are by no means among the College's wealthiest donors, our gift will help ensure that the Long Walk will remain at the heart of Trinity College's campus for generations to come."