Securing Income and Saving Taxes
A neighbor's invitation to an NC State event more than 40 years ago was the beginning of Lew and Billie Rentel's extraordinary relationship with the university. The Rentels quickly became loyal fans of Wolfpack athletics and patrons of Arts NC State and the College of Veterinary Medicine, the latter having provided treatment for a beloved family dog.
Through NC State's Office of Gift Planning, the Rentels also learned about the importance of philanthropy and the benefits of different giving methods especially gifts that paid them a regular income, such as the charitable gift annuity (CGA) and the charitable remainder trust (CRT).
Although the Rentels did not graduate from NC State, they chose to establish CGAs and a CRT at the university to support their many Pack passions. The couple funded their CGAs with appreciated stock and gifted a rental house in Wilmington, North Carolina, to fund their CRT. These donations allowed the Rentels to enjoy tax deductions that helped with capital gains while also receiving an annual fixed income.
Most importantly, the Rentels are enabling NC State students to think and do the extraordinary.
"Our biggest goal is to help others, especially kids from low-income families. It's a win-win for everybody," Lew said in 2018. "The people that you're donating to gain financially. You gain financially. You gain socially. You gain a lot of opportunities. NC State and the giving we've done have made our lives better."
The Rentels have benefited areas all across campus, including Frank Thompson Hall, where they have attended numerous theatrical performances. Many NC State student-athletes can also thank the couple for the scholarships that allow them to compete on behalf of the university.
Also noteworthy is the Rentels' named endowment through the NC Veterinary Medical Foundation's Companion Pet Assistance Fund. The endowment helps people cover the out-of-pocket costs associated with treating their animal friends.
Lew began his career by working in a shoe factory, selling newspapers, operating a lift truck, toiling as a laborer, driving a truck for Royal Crown Cola and honing his craft as an electrician until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. Following his military service, he started working as a driver with the United Parcel Service. He was quickly promoted through the ranks and retired as a UPS executive at the age of 55.
Billie enrolled in the LPN (Licensed Practical Nursing) program at Kinston Community College after graduating from high school. She felt fortunate to be able to remain at home and raise the couple's four children, later enjoying as much time as possible with their four grandchildren.
The Rentels celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2019. Billie passed away the following year, but her and Lew's impact on NC State continues through their various acts of philanthropy.