A ‘Wild Card’ Makes a Winning Hand Richard McKim “Kim” Preston ’69, ’76L used the IRA charitable rollover provision to make a tax-free gift to W&L.
“I will always be grateful to W&L for giving me a second chance.”
~ Kim Preston ’69, ’76L
Kim Preston’s claim to fame in the Class of 1969 might be that he was at the exact bottom of it. “In fact, all three bottom members of the class are serving on the 50th reunion committee,” Preston laughed. “I will always be grateful to W&L for giving me a second chance,” he continued on a more sober note.
Preston had no idea what he planned to do after graduating from W&L, but by chance was offered a job teaching history at a private school in New Jersey. Teaching for four years allowed him to earn a master’s degree in the subject.
Preston later learned that he had been the wild card of Dean of the Law School Roy Lee Steinheimer Jr. (1968 – 1983). “Apparently, everyone on the admissions committee was allowed a ‘wild card,’ and I was his,” Preston said. “I enjoyed law school so much more, because I worked harder than I did as an undergraduate. I lived out in the country both as an undergraduate and a law student and enjoyed hiking, running and fishing. Lexington is special because of its proximity to such great natural beauty.”
After graduating from law school, Preston joined a firm in D.C. that broke up a few years later. He and one of the partners joined the firm where Preston is now himself a partner, Seyfarth Shaw L.L.P. Preston was the founder of its construction practice group and focuses on international infrastructure litigation and arbitration. He and his wife, Lori, a retired restauranteur, frequently travel abroad for Preston’s work, most recently in Paris.
Preston used the IRA charitable rollover provision to make a tax-free gift to the Class of 1969 50th reunion class projects, the undergraduate Annual Fund and the Law School Annual Fund. The IRA charitable rollover not only provides a tax-free distribution but also satisfies the required minimum distribution. “When you get to be my age, if you have retirement savings, you are required to take out a yearly minimum withdrawal that is subject to personal income taxation. It is very easy to roll this into a charitable contribution on which you do not have to pay tax. It is a very attractive way to support the institutions you love,” Preston observed.
“I have always thought the atmosphere on campus, the Honor System and everything the university teaches represent all that is the best of what our country should stand for and promote,” he said. “Helping such an institution continue is certainly a worthy subject for giving.”