Impact Stories

Inspiring Student Achievement

Penn State campus

Impact Stories

Inspiring Student Achievement

Gary and Joanne Budge

Gary and Joanne Budge

Gary Budge can still remember the feeling of preparing to complete his final semester at the Penn State School of Hospitality Management in 1972. He felt confident that—throughout his education—he had developed the skills, attitude, and network necessary to thrive in the hospitality industry. Gary developed these attributes, in part, thanks to opportunities created by the philanthropic nature of Penn Staters who had come before him.

"I saw very clearly that a great deal of our success as a school was because of alumni who had given back," Gary says. "This 'pay it forward' attitude was fundamental to the program."

Since earning his bachelor of science degree in food service and housing administration, Gary and his wife, Joanne, have followed in the footsteps of those generous individuals. Together, they have established numerous charitable gift annuities and a bequest to benefit the School of Hospitality Management and have volunteered their time and talent to various University fundraising initiatives—all to strengthen the educational experience for students and encourage others to give back.

Now, by establishing the Joanne F. and Gary J. Budge Achievement Scholarship, the Budges have deepened their philanthropic partnership with the School of Hospitality Management.

"We created the fund as a partial repayment for the value added to our lives by the many members of our Penn State family," Joanne says. "We want to reward academic achievement, and establishing this scholarship helped us to do just that."

Gary and Joanne established the scholarship to leave an enduring impact on the School of Hospitality Management and the people who call it home. Their fund will become active after their lifetimes through combining the balance of their many charitable gift annuities, and so the scholarship will also ensure that their remaining funds serve as valuable assets to the next generation of hospitality professionals.

"The scholarship will empower students to grow in their profession and recognize the value of their alignment with Penn State's School of Hospitality Management," Gary explains. "Our goal is to provide the philanthropic support that will inspire future Penn Staters to adopt a spirit of paying it forward for the future."

Both Gary and Joanne hold leadership roles in New York City's competitive hospitality scene. The former general manager of The Algonquin Hotel, Gary currently serves as principal of the consulting firm Budge and Co., LLC. Joanne, having retired from Four Seasons Hotel New York in 2019, is also active in the consulting practice.

But even as they continue to navigate the demanding requirements of the job, the Budges are motivated to set an example and go the extra mile to support Penn Staters. "Philanthropy is a part of our DNA," Gary says. "We believe supporting hospitality management students makes both the school and the University better, and that is a reflection upon those who pave the way."

To learn more about how you can help to shape the future of Penn State, please contact Michael J. Degenhart at 888-800-9170 (toll free) or

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Penn 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 Penn 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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