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Edward Capps with T. Leslie Shear Sr. poses with the statue of Hadrian at the Agora in 1932

About the Edward Capps Society

The American School of Classical Studies at Athens established The Edward Capps Society in 2009 to recognize and honor, during their lifetimes, those individuals who have provided for the future of the School by making a gift commitment to the ASCSA in the planning of their estates or through a significant outright gift to the School’s permanent endowment fund.

The Society has been named in memory of Edward Capps who, at the time of his death in 1950, was lauded by The New York Times as “the best-loved foreigner in Greece.” Capps was decorated twice by the Greek government for his leadership in support of relief efforts during and after the world wars that ravaged Europe. A committed Philhellene, he campaigned vigorously in the United States for Greek causes through his advocacy group, The American Friends of Greece. Edward Capps was Professor of Classics at Princeton University and published an important scholarly work on the history of the Athenian theater. He served for more than 20 years (1918–1938) as chairman of the Managing Committee of the American School, rescuing the School through his genius from the penury into which it had fallen during World War I. He spearheaded fundraising campaigns that resulted in the establishment of the endowment that supports the School today, while masterminding its world-famous archaeological excavations in the Athenian Agora and presiding over the gift to the School of the magnificent library of John Gennadius and the opening of the Gennadeion in 1926. He rightly deserves to be recognized as the “Second Founder of the American School.”

Qualification for Membership

Membership in The Edward Capps Society is available to any individual or couple who notify the American School that they have completed an estate plan that includes a provision for the School or who have other­wise made a “future” or “planned” gift to the School, including to the Gennadius Library or any other specific department or program center of the School. Membership is also open to those who, during their lifetime, have made gifts of at least $100,000 to the School’s permanent endowment, thereby helping to ensure the future of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

Those who have made such estate or endowment gifts to the School but do not wish to be listed on the official membership roster of The Edward Capps Society will be included as “anonymous” on the Society’s printed roster.

Benefits of Membership

The Members of The Edward Capps Society share the pleasure of being recognized for their gift commitments during their lifetime. This evidence of their continuing support for ASCSA can be a powerful incentive for others to make similar estate (“future”) or endowment gifts to the School.

Members will be listed on The Edward Capps Society plaques in the lobby of the Main Building or in the Gennadius Library and in the annual report of the ASCSA. As new members join the Society, they will be recognized in ákoue, the newsletter of the School. Each member will also receive a certificate in recognition of their estate or endowment commitment to ASCSA. Members will also be invited to attend the special annual events of The Edward Capps Society in the U.S. and in Athens—providing an opportunity to be updated on the activities and programs of ASCSA as well as on recent developments in estate planning.

Qualifying Estate Gifts

Individuals qualify for membership in The Edward Capps Society of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens who make provision for a gift to the School or any of its programs in any of the following ways:

  • Through outright gifts of at least $100,000 to the School’s permanent endowment
  • Through a charitable bequest in one’s will
  • By making ASCSA a beneficiary of a distribution from a revocable or irrevocable trust
  • By naming ASCSA as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy
  • By naming ASCSA as a beneficiary of an IRA or other retirement fund
  • By entering into a charitable remainder trust for the benefit of ASCSA
  • By deeding—subject to the School’s prior approval —a house, farm, or vacation home to ASCSA, while continuing to live on the property as long as the donor wishes

Several of these gift mechanisms provide not only estate tax benefits, but also possible charitable deductions for current income tax savings. Please be aware that some of the tax benefits of these gift vehicles may not be available to those filing taxes outside of the U.S.

More information about the Edward Capps Society and other gift mechanisms may be obtained from the Development Office at  609-683-0800.