Shaun O’Malley comes from a large family of three brothers and four sisters. To attend Wharton in the 1950s, he knew he would need financial help. After one semester at Penn, the cost of his education became a real challenge, so he entered the military draft and served two years in the U.S. Army. The benefits he received from the G.I. Bill enabled him to come back to Wharton for his undergraduate degree. After graduating in 1959, Shaun embarked on a long and successful career in the accounting profession.
When the School approached him about a gift, Shaun knew that he wanted to help students with financial need attend Wharton by creating an endowed scholarship fund. The question was how best to fund such a gift. Shaun wanted to make an outright gift to get the scholarship fund started, but he also wanted some income for his retirement. The solution was to combine an outright contribution with a life income gift. To create the O’Malley Scholarship Fund immediately, Shaun made an outright gift by giving Penn a life insurance policy he no longer needed and which the University surrendered for its cash value. He then used appreciated stock to fund a charitable gift annuity, thereby avoiding capital gain taxation and securing quarterly income for life. At his death, Penn will add the principal remaining in the gift annuity to the O’Malley Scholarship Fund. Shaun also makes annual gifts to his Scholarship Fund.
Today, the O’Malley Scholarship Fund is helping future business leaders study at Wharton. The inaugural O’Malley Scholar was Joseph Pankratz, a Wharton student from Missouri who played tight end on Penn’s undefeated, Ivy League Champion football team. “I know well how critical financial aid can be to a student,” said Shaun, “and it was a thrill for me to make it possible for someone like Joe to come to Wharton and Penn.”