Penn Staters 'Paying It Forward'

Gary and Joanne Budge smiling

Gary and Joanne Budge are reaping the rewards of their long-term investment in Penn State.

As a student in Penn State's School of Hospitality Management, Gary Budge gained the organizational skills, sense of pragmatism, and professional potential he would need to succeed in New York City's highly competitive hospitality industry. He also gained an early sense of the importance of philanthropy. "I saw very clearly that a great deal of our success as a school was because of alumni who had given back," he says. "This ‘pay it forward' attitude was fundamental to the program."

Over the past thirty years, Gary and his wife, Joanne, have stayed true to that spirit of generosity. Together, they have established numerous charitable gift annuities and a bequest to benefit the School of Hospitality Management. They have also given considerable time and talent as volunteers, working to enhance the hospitality management curriculum and encourage other Penn Staters to give back.

Gary graduated from the School of Hospitality Management in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in food service and housing administration. While Joanne is not an alumna herself, she has fully embraced the University community.

Both Gary and Joanne hold leadership positions in New York City's thriving hospitality scene. The former general manager of The Algonquin Hotel, Gary currently serves as partner in the consulting firm Budge and Co., LLC. Joanne is the Director of Human Resources at Four Seasons Hotel New York.

As the Budges approach retirement, the many gift annuities they've established over the years are proving to be a valuable set of assets. "Neither of us have a traditional pension program, so it was important for us to think about income from a variety of sources to take care of us during our golden years," Gary explains. "The charitable gift annuities are an important piece of the puzzle."

But the real benefit of their philanthropy is perhaps best measured in the lifelong relationships they've built and the sense of community they've gained.

"Fellow Penn Staters will show up at the hotel, and I'll know who they are just by their first name," Joanne says. "The friends we've made and the people we've interacted with have made for a truly rewarding experience."

"Knowing that we, as Penn State donors, are part of a larger group working together to make the University even better-this is a very special thing," Gary says. "This is a mission that we all need to be thinking about."

To learn more about how you can be part of the future of Penn State, please contact Michael J. Degenhart, Assistant Vice President, or any of the expert gift planning officers in the Office of Gift Planning at Penn State at 888-800-9170 (toll free) or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The Pennsylvania 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 The Pennsylvania State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at c/o Office of Gift Planning, 212 The 103 Building, University Park, PA 16802, 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 Penn State 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 Penn State 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 Penn State 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 Penn State where you agree to make a gift to Penn State 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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