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A Generous Gift in Memory of a Generous Man

TrepkoskiKylie Friend Trepkowski '96 knows that every second counts. Earlier this year, her husband, Tom Trepkowski '97, whom she met as an Alma College student, passed away unexpectedly.

"Tom was larger than life," she reflects. "He was generous, especially with his time. He loved to hang out with his family and friends, and he loved being a dad. Before he passed, we were lucky that Collin was calling us both by name."

Though Kylie couldn't have planned for tragedy, the Trepkowskis made sure to prepare for the future after the birth of Collin, their 2-year-old son. They knew Alma had to be part of their plan.

"Alma was the time of our lives," Kylie says. "It gave us a third family. It was amazing how many of our friends made trips to support Collin and me when Tom passed. One came from overseas, and others drove hours to be there for only an hour or two. All because of who Tom was."

Because of the financial support she and Tom received at Alma, Kylie also knows that every dime counts. The Trepkowskis began the process of establishing a scholarship, and after Tom's passing, Kylie decided that a second scholarship, in memory of Tom, was something she needed to do.

"We received a great education at Alma," she says. "I learned a lot about who I was, and I think Tom felt the same way. We wanted to help kids like us, who love music but don't necessarily come from families who have a lot of money."

The Thomas J. and Kylie E. Trepkowski Endowed Scholarship will support performing arts students while the Thomas J. Trepkowski '97 Memorial Scholarship will aid students who are involved in instrumental music.

"It was important for me to honor Tom in this way," Kylie says. "I know if the roles were reversed, he would have done the same. While I would've much rather established the scholarships slowly over time with him than quickly without him, I am so glad to be able to give back to Alma."

For more information on how you can establish a scholarship in memory of a loved one, please contact Sherie L. Veramay at 989-463-7316 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Alma College 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

Bequest Language

I, [name], of [city, state ZIP] give, devise and bequeath to Alma College [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestrictred use and purpose.

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 Alma 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 Alma 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 Alma 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 Alma where you agree to make a gift to Alma 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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