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  • Mark Biernath
  • Allens Schollars
  • Giles
  • Tony Holcombe's Love of History Leads to Planned Gift for Scholarships
  • Returning the Favor: Scholarship Gift Gives Back to Georgia State
  • Bill and Rita Loventhal: A Leap of Faith That Paid Off

Meet Our Donors

Our donors are philanthropists in the finest sense of the word. Through their help, we’ve been making the world a better place for Georgia State students for decades. The influence these gifts have in the lives of our students echoes beyond their time on campus. Hear directly from students to understand the impact of giving to Georgia State.

Gifts to Georgia State reach well past the university and its students and faculty. Those directed to us also benefit our city, our state and other regions through resulting enrichment in the economy, arts and culture, and health care. Please browse the stories below to learn how donors are leaving a lasting legacy at Georgia State.

Making a Lasting Impact at Georgia State

Brad FerrerAlumnus Brad Ferrer and his wife, Patty, have long been supporters of Georgia State. See what inspired him to form an even deeper connection to the University and how he’s making a lasting impact on our students. Read More


Panther Profile: Tiffany Harvey

Tiffany and Phebe HarveyWhen psychology major Tiffany Harvey began her freshman year at Georgia State, she found herself balancing more than a demanding course load. She'd made two groups of friends—one more studious and the other more social—and tried to make both a priority. Read More


Adversity Leads to Opportunity

Kevin VettickattKevin Vettickatt didn't let a career-ending sports injury derail his future. Instead, he turned to other activities. Now, he's hoping to take on the world's concerns by studying a field he's passionate about. Read More


Outdoor Enthusiast Turned City Slicker

Matthew MoliniWhen it came time to select a college, Matthew Molini didn't have to choose between his love of the outdoors and the opportunities a large city offers. At Georgia State, he can pursue all his passions. Read More


On the Road to Graduation

Aaron LewisAtlanta native Aaron Lewis visited multiple campuses before deciding that Georgia State was the place for him. Donor support is making it possible for him to pursue his education here. Read More


First-Generation Student Azhia Brown

Azhia BrownGeographically, Azhia Brown hasn’t traveled far—she grew up in Atlanta, went to school at Georgia State, and has now started her career in Atlanta. In terms of personal development, though, she’s gone further than she ever imagined.   Read More


From the Gold Dome to Big Ben

Sam HanksSam Hanks knew he wanted his college experience to include access to government. But he never imagined he'd have the opportunities that he's had at Georgia State to explore his interests—including internships in the Georgia capitol and British Parliament and a semester in France. And it's all because of the Presidential Scholarship.   Read More


Sarah Agnew Hits the Beach—and the Books—in Downtown Atlanta

Sarah AgnewSarah Agnew decided to take up beach volleyball because it was fun—and challenging. Thanks to donor support, she's been able to challenge herself in the classroom, too, as a scholar in Georgia State's Honors College and College of Education and Human Development.  Read More


Mark Biernath Provides Help for the Disabled—and a Legacy for Georgia State

Mark BiernathMark Biernath wasn’t even a lawyer the first time he stepped inside a courtroom, but the experience left an impression on him. He decided to attend Georgia State University College of Law and found his true calling. Today Mark practices special-needs and disability law in Atlanta and is providing the opportunity for future students to pursue their true calling through his estate gift to Georgia State.  Read More


Legendary Musician's Legacy Still Echoes at Georgia State

Melissa JosephMelissa Joseph never met the woman who endowed the scholarship that is helping her follow her dream of becoming an opera singer. But thanks to the foresight of Florence Kopleff—Georgia State's first artist-in-residence—Melissa is part of Florence's enduring musical legacy.   Read More


Inside a Researcher's Mind

mccann-thumbAs a researcher pursuing a doctoral degree in neuroscience, Kate McCann knew she'd face challenges in the lab. But thanks to the support of the Kenneth and Georganne Honeycutt Fellowship, she has two cheerleaders in her corner who provide financial assistance and personal encouragement when she faces setbacks, allowing her to stay focused on her innovative research.   Read More


Inspired by One Georgia State Success Story

Lairds-thumbThe idea of real-world learning opportunities as a cornerstone of the Georgia State experience is hardly a new development. As far back as the 1960s, Ed Laird was taking classes that immersed him directly into the world of journalism. Read More


Fostering Equality and Opportunity in Atlanta—and Around the World

Scholarship recipientsAngie Allen was one of the few women in the investment field in the late 1970s, and she knew that she needed additional skills to advance her career. Georgia State University's flexible schedule allowed her to earn her MBA while working full time, and now she and her husband, Sam, support several scholarship programs.  Read More


Supporters Phil And Jeanne Oneacre Commit $1 Million To Georgia State

Phil and Jeanne OneacreThe Phil and Jeanne Oneacre family has committed a $1 million planned gift to Georgia State University to support the Honors College, the Department of Athletics and J. Mack Robinson College of Business.  Read More


Bill and Rita Loventhal: A Leap of Faith That Paid Off

Bill and Rita LoventhalWhen Bill Loventhal received advice from the director of the Kemper Foundation that he should transfer to Georgia State University, he was skeptical. He took that advice, however, and hasn't left Atlanta since.  Read More


Angela and Alan Giles Aren't Just Georgia State Donors—They're Fans

Angela and Alan GilesIf you're sensing a little more Panther pride on Georgia State's campus these days, you owe some thanks to Alan and Angela Giles. Their generous annual gifts to a variety of activities, particularly athletics and cheerleading, have helped create programs the entire Georgia State community can rally around.  Read More


Returning the Favor: Scholarship Gift Gives Back to Georgia State

Bill WhiteIt was the spring of 1964 and Bill White was staring at a dead end. Four years earlier, Bill had started what looked like a promising career at an Atlanta business magazine publishing company. He thought his engineering degree from Georgia Tech and experience as editor of the Tech weekly newspaper would help.  Read More


Providing Hope for the Future

Chris And Elanna ValleyGeorgia State has played a big part in Chris and Elanna Valley's past and present. She earned both her bachelor's degree and master's degree here, and they met while she was doing an internship. After more than three decades as a social worker, Chris is now an instructor in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.  Read More


Donna Brazzell Gives Back to Georgia State

Donna BrazzellDonna Brazzell found a new career—and a new outlook on life—after taking a chance and going back to school in a different field. Now, she is enjoying her job as executive director of the DeKalb Library Foundation, and she wants to give back through her estate. Why? Georgia State, she says, gave her a gift first.  Read More


Mescon Family Establishes Scholarship in Daughter's Memory

Mescon Family Establishes ScholarshipIn 2011, a family tragedy encouraged Michael and Enid Mescon to create a scholarship in their daughter's honor. They believe Georgia State students have the power to stop tragic eating disorders from affecting other families. Read More


Law Students Thankful for Help from Hugh Welborn

Hugh WelbornAs a member of the charter class at the Georgia State University College of Law, Hugh Welborn worked his way through law school by juggling jobs. His recent gift ensures current law students won’t face that same struggle.  Read More


The Debianne and Robert Peterman Scholarship: Paying It Forward

Debianne and Robert Peterman ScholarshipDebianne Peterman says she owes her career to Georgia State University and the support she received through scholarship funding. Now, Debianne and her husband, Robert, want to provide that same support to future health care students.  Read More


Alumni Honor Impact of GSU Education With Successful Challenge Grants

Alumni Honor ImpactTwo GSU alumni extended a challenge to their fellow alumni: give back and we will match your gifts. GSU Panthers have responded to the challenge, and more than $30,000 has been raised so far.  Read More


The Passions of Alumnus J. Allen Poole

Alumnus J. Allen PooleSports fan and alumnus J. Allen Poole believes in supporting the things important to him. For Allen, that includes Georgia State University Athletics and a scholarship to help Georgia State accounting students.  Read More


Tony Holcombe's Love of History Leads to Planned Gift for Scholarships

Tony HolcombeThe success story of Tony G. Holcombe ('77) begins on the printed page, as a first-generation college student at Georgia State University who loved reading about world history.   Read More


Margaret Andersen Makes Diversity Her Life's Work

Margaret AndersenMargaret "Maggie" Andersen '70 remembers when female students at Georgia State University were forbidden to wear slacks to class. Today, Andersen is helping this generation challenge social barriers.  Read More


Janet S. and Ronald J. Henry: Banishing a Barrier to Student Access

Janet S. and Ronald J. HenryFormer GSU provost Ronald and wife Janet Henry's careers in higher education hinged on receiving financial aid as undergraduates. Their experiences led them to fund a university-wide scholarship at GSU, to address "one of the greatest unmet needs in the country for higher education," Ron says.  Read More


Leaving His Mark on GSU

Leaving His MarkBarely two years since 103-year-old photography student Ernest G. Welch passed away, his multimillion dollar bequest has forever influenced the future of GSU.  Read More


Academic Justice, Scholarship Link GSU Law Donor and Student

Academic JusticeRebecca White juggles full-time work and classes while pursuing a law degree at GSU, a difficult concept Hugh Welborn is quite familiar with, which led to Rebecca earning the first Hugh W. Welborn Scholarship in Law.  Read More

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Georgia 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 to Georgia State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at P.O. Box 3965 Atlanta, GA 30302-3965, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted 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 the 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 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 the Foundation 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 the 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 the Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the 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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