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Transformed by Education

Jeanne Day Gives Back

Jeanne DayIt was only $100. But for Jeanne Day (’51, Social Science), the scholarship was everything.

The only child in a rural Michigan family, Jeanne grew up feeling alone. “It was the Depression,” she says, “and we were a dysfunctional family—the lowest of the lower class.” She missed fourth grade because she didn’t have shoes.

Then, when she was 11, her family moved to Midland, into “a real house with running water and an honest-to-God icebox.” There was also a city library. “I read my way through that library, starting with the Nancy Drew mysteries and moving up and down the shelves to history and science.”

Her senior year of high school, Jeanne completed an MSU scholarship exam. She’s never forgotten opening the letter stating she was Midland County’s winner. “It was just $100 a term,” she says, “but that letter gave me a feeling of worth that changed my whole life.”

At MSU, she found a “beautiful, welcoming world” of challenging conversation and rigorous coursework. She also met her future husband, a gentle and kind accounting student named Denver Day (’51, Business).

Jeanne DayIn 1960, they moved to the Los Angeles area, where they worked full-time while also rehabbing and managing apartment buildings. Jeanne earned two master’s degrees and a pilot’s license. “Denver wasn’t naturally adventuresome,” she laughs, “but boy, he went along with it.”

From the start, the couple resolved to give back to MSU. Over the years, they increased their giving through charitable trusts and charitable gift annuities, and eventually, the Denver and Jeanne Day Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Now, letters from recipients make Jeanne’s day. “They’re bursting with vitality and goals,” she says. “Boy, that hits the ball right in middle field for me.”

Denver passed away in 2013, but Jeanne takes comfort in having shared a life lived to the fullest—starting at MSU.

Education Changes Lives

To learn more about assisting MSU students while protecting your future, contact MSU Office of Gift Planning at 800 232-4678 | 517 884-1000 or

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.

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