Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016 - (Page 12)

DON O R I M PAC T Alumna pays it forward through estate gift When Susan Bailey was a student at Grand Valley in the 1970s, her hometown of Benton Harbor was experiencing unrest, much like the rest of the country during the turbulent Vietnam War era. This impacted her decision on where to enroll, and Bailey, '73, said she chose Grand Valley, in part, because of its friendly atmosphere. "It felt very comforting to me," Bailey said. Bailey and her husband, David, have been consistent donors to Grand Valley for nearly 30 years and in 2014 decided to make a planned gift to the university. The Baileys are retired executives from Whirlpool Corp. in St. Joseph. When Bailey was at Grand Valley, deciding on a major took time, she said, and while she enjoyed science courses, she was drawn more and more to art classes and soon found a passion for creating jewelry. She earned a bachelor's degree in art and design and was a part of the Grand Rapids arts community for a few years following graduation. Like many Grand Valley alumni, Bailey has fond memories of her time on the Allendale Campus, particularly her relationships with campus community members. "I was treated with respect, whether it was in class with other students, talking to administrators, or asking for help if I needed it," she said. Several years ago, the Baileys revised their will to ensure Grand Valley was a beneficiary. "We both feel it is important on a number of levels to support education," she said. "When people are educated, you have a stronger society and a stronger country. "We also have an interest in seeing students graduate with fewer loans and debt." Gina Bovee is the director of endowed and planned giving. She said people include Grand Valley in their estate plans because, like the Baileys, they care about student success. "OUR EDUCATION LED US TO MAKE A GOOD LIVING. WE WANT TO PASS THOSE OPPORTUNITIES ON TO SOMEONE ELSE." SUSAN BAILEY Susan, '73, and David Bailey 12 Summer '16 "It's your personal legacy; you are leaving a gift to something you care deeply about," said Bovee, who joined Grand Valley in March with two decades of experience. Bailey said she wanted her planned gift to pay it forward. "Our education led us to make a good living," she said. "We want to pass those opportunities on to someone else." After living in Grand Rapids, Bailey moved back to the St. Joseph area and got a job at Whirlpool as a clerk in the accounting department. She earned promotions and began pursuing a master's degree through Whirlpool's tuition incentive program. Among other projects, Bailey led the development of the company's first relational database, which collected information on sales and allowed team members to view data trends. She retired after 30 years as a finance director at Whirlpool. PLANNED GIVING OPTIONS Gift planning options for donors range from bequests to retirement plan designations to gifts that pay income. Bovee said many people have the notion they are too young to think about a planned gift or that giving this way is too complex for their situation. "In reality, a planned gift can be easy to put in place and is often the best way to maximize your impact on student success," she said. Bailey stressed the importance of having regular financial conversations with family members. "It helps to talk it out often. We talk about supporting things that are important to our family," she said. Donors who support Grand Valley with a planned gift become members of the Gillett Society, Grand Valley's longest-standing donor society named in honor of Richard M. Gillett, who was a driving force in the creation of the university. For more information on making a planned gift to Grand Valley, contact Bovee at (616) 331-6534 or Visit for more information.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016

Campus News
Donor Impact
Q&A Erika King
Not your average spring break
Life stories
Off the Path
Fall Arts Celebration
Alumni News

Grand Valley Magazine Summer 2016