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The Estate of Dr. Michael Kurtz, Legacy Award for Planned Giving

Michael Kurtz only learned about the Wellness House of Annapolis after his beloved wife and partner for life, Cherie Loustaunau, passed away from cancer in 2019. He was introduced to the nonprofit through the Community Foundation’s giving circle, Anne Arundel Women’s Giving Together (AAWGT), where Cherie had been a lifetime member. When he read about the Wellness House’s objective to provide free non-medical cancer support in the forms of individual and family counseling, health and well-being programs, children and family programming, and education opportunities, it immediately resonated with him that its presence in this community was not only helpful, but vital. That’s why he pledged $21,000 annually in support of its Children and Family Program, and continued his support in a greater way after his death. Michael had worked closely with CFAAC and his financial advisor to leave a generous unrestricted legacy gift of a $500,000 life insurance policy to the Wellness House. 

“Michael’s deep commitment and unwavering support to our Children and Family Program has changed the trajectory of Wellness House, allowing us to plan and expand our services to reach the ever-growing need of our those in our community living with cancer,” said Terri Fevang, Wellness House Program & Communications Director.

The Wellness House isn’t the only nonprofit that was impacted by Michael’s generosity. Throughout his life, Michael had a passion for history exhibited by his work for 37 years as a professional archivist, manager, and senior executive at the National Archives and Records Administration where he had many successful initiatives such as creating the National Declassification Center. As a University of Maryland professor and researcher, he co-founded the Advanced Information Collaboratory in 2020 and continued to mentor students and colleagues through his retirement. Michael opened a CFAAC Donor Advised Fund, the Dr. Michael J. Kurtz Foundation, to support archives, digital curation and information management to various organizations. He and Cherie were also avid supporters of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra (ASO) where Michael served as a Trustee and its Vice Chair until his illness forced him to retire from the board. However, Michael continued his support; he was the financial leadership and organizational driver behind the ASO’s international tour to Spain in 2022. Before Michael passed away, he also set up a legacy gift to support the ASO. 

Michael’s legacy generosity through his estate plans was a final statement of what was important to him and his wife in their lives by providing an opportunity to make sure their wishes were realized and that they continued to champion the organizations they cared about most in their lifetimes. AAWGT member and 2016 Celebration of Philanthropy awardee Karen Smith knew Michael for many years and had the privilege of witnessing up-close both his countless hours of personal service to non-profits and his ongoing financial commitment to causes important to him and to the community. “Michael’s intentionally planned legacy giving became a meaningful extension of his lifelong commitment to giving back and has enabled his positive impact to continue after death.”

The late Dr. Michael Kurtz was nominated by the Wellness House of Annapolis​.

Learn more about the life and legacy of Michael at the 23nd Annual Celebration of Philanthropy on November 17th.

The Legacy Award for Planned Giving recognizes a family or individual philanthropist who has made a significant contribution to one or more local nonprofits using a planned gift. A planned gift is any major gift, made in a lifetime or at death as part of a donor’s overall financial and/or estate planning. These include gifts of equity, life insurance, real estate, personal property, or cash. 

Go back to 2023 Awardees