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Alumni Embraces His Role in University’s Future

Vince FosterA Michigan State counselor convinced Vince Foster to major in accounting simply by noting it was difficult.

“That seemed to fit me,” Vince says. “I had a great experience, and I was kind of set career-wise when I made that decision.”

Upon graduation in 1978, he received job offers from what were then known as the big eight accounting firms. He chose to work for Arthur Andersen in Detroit.

Little did he know then, his time in Detroit would be short-lived, but he would deepen his connection to Michigan State. He fell in love with the booming business environment and moved to Houston in 1981 after Arthur Andersen sent him there on a short-term project.

Foster credits Arthur Andersen, where he worked for a total of 19 years, with helping him develop the culture of giving back to Michigan State.

“Arthur Andersen had a really admirable program where they told the partners, ‘You will donate a percentage of your income or we will do it for you,’” Vince says. “Whatever we did, they matched.”

Paying Dividends

He has maintained the giving spirit since starting his own company, Main Street Capital, in 1997. Recently, he made a gift to the College of Business of dividends on his stock for five years, accomplished through a charitable lead trust.

“It is really interesting. The lead trust pays Michigan State the income for a term of years, and then all the stock I transferred to the lead trust reverts back to me,” Vince says.

He gives because he knows the university needs support to keep tuition affordable. Vince’s gift of dividends from his company’s stock is designated for the Business College Pavilion.

“The alumni are critical or the math does not work,” Vince says. “If it were not for Michigan State, I probably would not be in the position to be doing what I am doing. It is a natural thing to do.”

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Michigan State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

I give and devise to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, the sum of $__________ dollars (or state percentage of estate) to be held, administered, and used by the Board of Trustees for support of Michigan State University in the area of greatest opportunity (or designated to your college or degree, academic, athletic or cultural program of your choice).

I instruct that all of my charitable gifts shall be made, to the extent possible, from property that constitutes "income in respect of a decedent" as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.

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A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

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the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

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Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

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A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to MSU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to MSU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and MSU where you agree to make a gift to MSU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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