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Legacy Gift Recognizes Impact of University Faculty and Friends

Two weeks after graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 1977, Janene "Jan" Nelson started working in the corporate headquarters of Wausau Insurance. She had been recruited by Wausau (later Liberty Mutual) on campus, which led to a 34-year human resources career with the company at six corporate locations.

Prior to her retirement from Liberty Mutual in 2011, Nelson designated a major gift in her will to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. The legacy gift was her way of saying thank you to the university and faculty that had an enduring impact on her career and life.

"My UW-Eau Claire experience provided much more than a foundation for my career," Nelson said. "It was a foundation for life. That's why I wanted to give back: to help provide the same opportunities to future Blugolds."

The faculty mentor relationships Nelson experienced as a student continued on into her professional career. She stayed close to the late Lorraine Missling, a highly acclaimed College of Business professor, and regards Lorraine as "one of the most special people in my life."

Nelson's gratifying university experience went beyond academics. Today, she places special value on her friendships with college roommates Deb (Swetz) Ackerman, Barb (Noll) Callahan, Carla (Grams) Gerhardt, Sue (Eldred) Kujawa and Patti (Onsager) Reyburn.

"We first met in Oak Ridge dorm, then later lived at 408 Chippewa Street, and called our house Camp Chippewa," Nelson said. "We made a special effort to have dinner together every night. It was very rare when all six of us weren't there."

Nelson and her roommates remain close and have a reunion every year. This September, they will gather in Montreal for a tour of the city, a cruise on the St. Lawrence Seaway to Prince Edward Sound, and a trip to Boston.

"Simply put, I love UW-Eau Claire," Nelson said. "I've always been very proud to say I'm a graduate of UW-Eau Claire. I was blessed with a great career and a wonderful life. I'm convinced it wouldn't have been possible without the guidance and support I received at UW-Eau Claire."

Learn How You Can Help
If you would like to follow Jan's example by making a planned gift to support UW-Eau Claire, contact Michele Olson at 715-836-3526 or We would be happy to answer your questions and help you find the right giving option to match your goals.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation 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

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 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation 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 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation 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 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation 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 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation where you agree to make a gift to University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Foundation 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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