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Training Next Generation a Top Priority for MSU Researchers

Jim and Janet IrelandJim and Janet Ireland have devoted their careers to Michigan State and to improving lives through research.

That same research brought the couple together. They married in 1986 after meeting at an endocrinology conference. Jim had already been at MSU since 1977—he’s a professor of reproductive physiology in animal science—and Janet joined him in 1988. She’s a research assistant in animal science.

The Irelands study fertility in cattle and use that knowledge to help improve reproductive success in women. Both praise the environment MSU provides for research.

“I think the breadth and diversity of programs and the large support system across the university is very helpful for anyone who is in research,” Janet says.

Legacy Gift

Michigan State will receive funds from the Irelands’ retirement plan after their lifetimes—a gift that will pay, hopefully in perpetuity, for up to four years of school for each new Ph.D. student in reproductive biology or a related field.

The Irelands chose this type of gifting to students because of the great need for financial support of Ph.D. students. “It’s important if we’re going to train the next generation of scientists to have funds for exceptional graduate students,” Jim says.

“The funding for graduate students is very minimal. We need to be able to train the best students available to work and solve problems,” he says. “That’s true across the board, not just in reproduction.”

The Irelands’ gift also directs smaller amounts to the MSU Horticulture Gardens and toward a scholarship for a Girl Scout, both passions of Janet’s.

“We’re very happy to be at Michigan State and have the opportunity to make this donation to the university to help support research,” Jim says.

You can follow in the Irelands’ footsteps and give a gift that supports your MSU passion. Contact MSU Office of Gift Planning at or 800 232-4678 | 517 884-1000 to learn more.

eBrochure Request Form

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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.

able to be changed or cancelled

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.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

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

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to MSU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

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

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.