Unlock Your IEEE Legacy with the Foundation’s Goldsmith Legacy League

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To “Unlock Your Legacy” means to discover, create, and leave behind a meaningful and lasting impact on the world; one that reflects your values, beliefs and contributions. It is about identifying and pursuing a purposeful path that allows you to make a positive difference and leave a mark that will be remembered and valued by future generations. Many of our donors have begun to achieve this and are recognized through the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League. The contributions from the members of this special donor group benefits those currently served by IEEE programs, as well as future generations of engineers. 

The IEEE Foundation, through the help of generous donors, enables more than 250 IEEE programs, advancing technology and solving the world’s greatest challenges – towards the goal of benefiting humanity in the long run. To honor these philanthropists and to thank them for ensuring that IEEE programs are able to turn their ambitions into impact, the Foundation established the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League

IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League

The Goldsmith Legacy League is named for Gertrude and Alfred N. Goldsmith in recognition of their extraordinary commitment to IEEE. During his lifetime, Alfred N. Goldsmith made a significant personal commitment to furthering the goals of the profession. He was one of the founders of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE), a predecessor society of the IEEE, Editor of the Proceedings of the IRE for 42 years, and a member of the IRE board for 51 years. He perpetuated his commitment to the profession after his death by providing a significant bequest to the IEEE Foundation through his estate. Gertrude honored her husband’s legacy in the engineering community by leaving a generous portion of her estate to the IEEE Foundation as well. Together Gertrude (Maude) and Alfred Goldsmith’s philanthropic vision exponentially expanded the IEEE Foundation’s ability to support IEEE’s mission.

We are pleased to acknowledge and celebrate a few of the 103 Forever Generous members of the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League who amplify this precedent set by the Goldsmiths. We are proud to call them partners in the work being done at the Foundation: Bruce W. Suter, T. Scott Atkinson, William Hord, and Dr. Karen A. Panetta & Mr. Jamie A. Heller.

Bruce W. Suter

Bruce W. Suter is one of the newest members of the Goldsmith Legacy League, joining this year. Bruce says of his commitment to IEEE, “IEEE has been a part of my life since I was an undergraduate electrical engineering student at the University of South Florida. I have profited by being a part of the society through presentations at conferences and reading its journal publications. I have served as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. I have held membership levels from student to Fellow. I was even fortunate enough to receive a lifetime achievement award from the IEEE, the Harry Diamond Award. So, I wanted it to also be part of my legacy.” By making a planned gift, Bruce has secured his legacy. Bruce expressed, “A legacy means there’s a way, after I pass, to continue to celebrate things that are most important to me in life, including IEEE. I hope that my IEEE legacy will help inspire future generations of engineers to perform outstanding work. I hope my IEEE legacy displays a lifelong interest in science and technology.” Bruce’s commitment does illustrate his dedication to IEEE and to the future of its members.

 T. Scott Atkinson

Joining the Goldsmith Legacy League in 2020, T. Scott Atkinson unlocked his legacy by making a planned gift to the IEEE Foundation to support the IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Life Members. When asked about why he chose to give to IEEE Foundation, Scott answered, “My wife and I were re-doing our wills and that got me thinking about providing some support for the organizations that have provided meaningful support to me over my career. IEEE has been my professional-technical organization since 1968 and so it was just natural for me to include them.” Scott says that he would be honored to be remembered by his fellow members and adds, “I believe that all IEEE members have an obligation to share their talents and resources to our Association.”

William Hord

Also new this year to the Goldsmith Legacy League is William Hord, who views a legacy as something that is handed down to future generations. With the world facing a very serious problem with climate change, he hopes his contribution can somehow be used by the IEEE to mitigate the effects of this change and bring the world back to a semblance of normalcy. William notes that a contribution to the Foundation represents his and fellow IEEE members best efforts at influencing the future of this planet. On IEEE and the Foundation, William stated, “The IEEE is probably the foremost professional organization in the world. When it publishes an item it can be trusted and in a world filled with noise and misleading statements that is important. The Foundation is the charitable partner of IEEE and represents the best chance of making a contribution to society.”.

Dr. Karen A. Panetta & Mr. Jamie A. Heller

Karen Panetta and Jamie Heller became Goldsmith Legacy League members last year when updating their estate planning. Karen explained, “I honestly didn’t think of “joining” but rather I always intended to include IEEE Foundation in my estate planning. I have been so inspired by IEEE Foundation supported programs and their sustained impact. As a member of the IEEE Foundation board, I learned about the Goldsmith Legacy League and it brought awareness that there is a significant group of like-minded donors and it connects us.” Karen’s involvement in IEEE Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) and the IEEE-MOVE program significantly influenced her decision to give to IEEE. When asked about her understanding of legacy, Karen replied, “Legacy means sustainability and long term impact. Knowing that my lifelong dedication to developing programs and technology to benefit humanity will continue through my support of IEEE Foundation, I’m confident that my efforts had an impact and people recognize it.” Expanding on why cementing her legacy through giving is important, Karen shared, “Helping others follow in our footsteps to make a better world for everyone is the most aspirational goal a person can have in life. Being a member of a community that embraces this at its core, ensures that we as individuals can really achieve this goal.”

We invite you to unlock your legacy by considering a planned gift – via Wills and Trust, Charitable Remainder Trust, Life Insurance, Donor Advised Fund Succession Plan, or Retirement Plan – and joining other like-minded IEEE members in the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League. If you have a plan in place that includes the IEEE Foundation, we invite you to share that news with us and join the IEEE Goldsmith Legacy League and be Forever Generous. Please contact us with any questions you may have about your estate and IEEE.Phone: +1 732.562.5446 e-mail:

To stay up to date on Foundation news and impacts, we invite you to follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook or sign up to receive our newsletter. To learn more about the innovative programming that the IEEE Foundation supports, explore our website.

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