Planned giving: A lasting legacy
We asked Ford School alumni and donors why they included the Ford School in their estate planning, what they hope their gifts will do, and how it reflects their values. Here's what they told us.
Ann Branston (MPP '71)
I want to help encourage and educate students from underrepresented groups to take on leadership positions in government.Ann Branston
I grew up in Michigan in the 1960’s, an era in which President Kennedy inspired us to view public service as an important and honorable profession, even a calling. I firmly believe it still is. I was very fortunate to have had a challenging and rewarding government career as a "public servant" in Boston, Washington DC and the San Francisco Bay Area. It wouldn’t have happened without the first rate public policy education I received at the Ford School (or the Institute for Public Policy Studies as it was known when I was there). I’ve always been extremely grateful for the scholarship I received from Michigan that made that education possible. A couple of years ago, I decided it was time to "pay it forward" by including the Ford School in my estate plan. I wanted to help educate a new generation of students for public service careers. And I especially wanted to help encourage and educate students from underrepresented groups to take on leadership positions in government. Supporting the Ford School's participation in the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program, with its focus on increasing diversity in public service, seemed like a perfect fit for my objectives.
Jeff Ebihara (MPP '86)
Our democracy is in crisis and we need to send the best and brightest to city hall, the state capitol, and DC. I hope in some small way, our gift makes a difference.Jeff Ebihara
My wife, Elizabeth and I both came from families dedicated to giving back to the community and to future generations of students. This includes our time, talent and treasures. Major gift officers from the university made it an easy process to include the Ford School in our estate plans.
As an undergraduate student at Wittenberg University in 1983, I was granted an opportunity by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to spend the summer at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Public Policy Studies with other students of color from across the country. That summer had a profound impact on my life, prepared me for the rigors of graduate school and solidified my decision to pursue a MPP at Michigan. The Sloan Foundation paid for my tuition and provided a living stipend so I could continue my education and pursue a career in local government. Without the support of the Sloan Foundation and The University of Michigan, I would not have been able to continue my education. My gift is nothing more than providing that same opportunity to a future Ford School student.
My Japanese American culture places education among the highest priority for each generation. It is my duty to help the next generation of leaders gain the critical thinking skills, knowledge, and internship experience that only the Ford School can provide. Our democracy is in crisis and we need to send the best and brightest to city hall, the state capitol and DC. I hope in some small way, our gift makes a difference.
Jack Riley (LSA ‘86)
I hope my legacy will make it easier for subsequent generations of policy students to have the same—or better—opportunities.Jack Riley
I’ve had the privilege of being at the table for some of greatest public policy challenges of the last 50 years, including reducing gun violence in our communities, countering the challenges posed by a renascent Russia and emerging China, and improving equality and fairness in the armed forces, especially as related to racial and ethnic diversity, gender identity and sexual orientation. The University of Michigan helped get me that seat. I hope my legacy will make it easier for subsequent generations of public policy students to have the same—or better—opportunities.
Jim Hudak (MPP '71)
When I sold my last company I did very well – at the time I generally had enough money already and I didn’t want to change my lifestyle, so I wanted to give it away. I was the youngest of three and my father was a teacher and mother a librarian, so I didn’t grow up with much. Even when I made it to Yale, one month I remember having to live on $1.19! At Michigan (IPPS) I was already married had a child. The Department of Housing and Urban Development gave me a scholarship and a stipend.
I believe education is the key to young people’s future, so by giving back I can ensure that will be possible.Jim Hudak
I grew up going public school, my dad and mom worked in education, I got a scholarship at Yale and federal scholarship to Michigan – so it was easy to choose where I wanted to give to. I believe that education in general in the US is underfunded (state, local, federal). When I sold the company I created a DAF (10% of the gross – live in a 54% national tax bracket so I wanted to know I was saving on that) and dedicated the whole thing to education.
I believe education is the key to young people’s future, so by giving back I can ensure that will be possible. I love knowing that the James B. Hudak Professor of Health Policy and my scholarships at the Ford School will live on forever, and that I have created a lasting legacy.
I want to help the Ford School continue to lead in addressing and making an impact on society’s most critical issues.Ruth Gramlich
The Ford School has been an important part of our family since long before it was the Ford School. My late husband, Ned Gramlich, joined the faculty in 1976 and was immediately excited by the capable, eager faculty and students dedicated to “making the world better.” He enthusiastically served in many capacities: professor, director, the first dean, and was always proud of the School’s growing expertise and contributions. He loved the students and was so proud of them!
It appears to me that the School’s impact on and importance to society have continued to increase since Ned's time there. Faculty and students lead in analyzing today's most critical issues and suggesting potential improvements. I hope this progress will continue, and so I’ve included the Ford School in my estate planning.