Artful Philanthropy

Honoring their shared passion for the arts, Susan and Joe Burkart '64 established the Joseph and Susan Burkart Visiting Lectureship in the Arts Endowment using a charitable remainder trust (CRUT). "When it came time for my 50th reunion, we knew we wanted to support the arts at Washington and Lee," Joe Burkart reflected. "The CRUT we set up then has worked out beautifully." The endowment enables visiting artists and art historians to enrich arts education at W&L. 

"The university will derive the remainder benefit, but it also increased our income," Burkart said. "It is beneficial to the institution as well as ourselves." When the couple recently updated their estate plans, they decided to include a bequest to create a second endowment for the arts at W&L, the Joseph and Susan Burkart Art and Art History Endowment. 

"Supporting the arts at W&L is a good investment," Susan Burkart said. "As an integral part of the humanities, the arts teach people to observe, stretch their imaginations, and communicate."

Marion Junkin '27, the first chair of the Art and Art History Department at Washington and Lee (1949-1973), inspired Joe Burkart's lifelong passion for the arts. One of Junkin's paintings hangs in the Burkarts' home, on proud display in the entryway.

W&L Art Department Chair and Associate Professor of Art History Andrea Lepage is grateful for the impactful support. "The faith the Burkarts have placed in the art department leadership will allow us to grow, adapt and flexibly meet the needs of our students and faculty," she said.