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Giving

Colonel Jamie Blow ’84 Pays It Forward

Colonel Jamie Blow

Colonel Jamie Blow ’84 invested in Alma College through her estate plan.

Colonel Jamie Blow ’84 is an army entomologist and director of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board. She has worked as a certified medical technologist in Germany, fought insect-transmitted diseases in Honduras, assisted with post-hurricane rebuilding efforts in Central America, inspected food and water facilities in Bosnia and provided medical assistance to nomadic peoples in Afghanistan.

Q. Why did you decide to include Alma in your estate plan?
A. Many national nonprofit organizations invited me to support them, but I wanted to make a large impact somewhere instead of multiple, smaller gifts. I thought that if I established a scholarship, I could help a lot of people who would go out into the world and do good things.

I worked with Alma College’s senior director of planned giving, Bob Murray, to create a scholarship fund that will benefit women at Alma College who are pursuing a career in the life sciences.

I believe the world needs these scientists to develop the vaccine for diseases like the Zika virus, to research Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and to make other seminal discoveries. We need young, innovative people in science and this is my way of reaching back to help women who can make a difference.

I completed the paperwork for my gift, and Bob made sure the process was simple, straightforward and adhered to my vision.

Q. How did your Alma experience impact your life and career?
A. Alma College taught me to think. My experience at Alma allowed me to develop the analytical and critical thinking skills that are the foundation of my career. I credit small class sizes where I had access to the professor, which isn’t the case at other institutions. My connection to Alma is still strong. I return to campus to speak about my career, I attend women’s basketball games, and I keep in touch with my former teammates.

When I walk around campus, I remember how Alma College helped me get to this place in my life and career. My job is to protect the constitution and our country. The fact that Alma College students are sitting in class and are able to feel secure and focus on their studies—that’s a good thing. We’ve probably walked very different paths, but we are definitely connected.

Q. What advice would you give to someone who is considering a planned gift to Alma College?
A. There are multiple ways to make an estate gift, like life insurance, an endowed fund (for a scholarship or something else) or part of your investments. Now that I’ve made my gift, I walk around campus and see things a little differently. I still see the campus that I knew, but it’s moved forward with new learning and recreational spaces. Philanthropy helped make all of that possible.

Ask yourself how you can help “grow the bench” by investing in the next generation of innovators and leaders. As a 20-year-old Alma College student, I never would have guessed that I’d be in a position to make a gift to help future students. But here I am. I’m grateful to be paying it forward. What I leave behind is now in order, but my investment in Alma College is still full of potential.

Make a Difference at Alma College

You can make an impact on students at Alma College with a future gift. Please contact Sherie L. Veramay at 989-463-7316 or veramaysl@alma.edu to get started.

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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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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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