Category: Students

John and Joan Calder: Charitable Remainder Trust–A Tax-Free Sale

John and Joan Calder

Years ago, John Calder set an optimistic goal for himself. “I wanted to give Tech $1 million,” he says. “When I decided to do that, it seemed like an insurmountable mountain.” Now he is scaling the peak.

John earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1967 and an MS in Business Administration in 1976, both from Tech. Now CEO of Cincinnati Controls, he has a talent for buying struggling businesses and turning them around. So, when the time came to sell one, he was faced with paying capital gains on $300,000. “I wanted to ensure that my wife, Joan, would be taken care of if something happened to me,” he says. “At the same time, I wanted to help Michigan Tech.”

The solution was a charitable remainder unitrust, or CRUT, which allows the Calders to avoid capital gains taxes. “It will give Joan funding to live on, and when we are both gone, the principal goes to Michigan Tech,” says John. They also give through a universal life insurance policy and are longtime annual supporters.

Along with supporting other University programs, they have established the Calder Systems and Controls Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics, which provides hands-on training in electrical controls. John credits that kind of practical preparation for launching his career and enabling their generosity. “When I graduated from Tech,” he says, “I could walk out onto the factory floor with a screwdriver and an oscilloscope and make things work.”

Now, they are looking at expanding their philanthropy by endowing an assistant or associate professorship for $500,000. “We’d like to support new faculty members who are just starting out,” he says. With this new gift, the Calders will be underwriting research and undergraduate education at Tech, two missions John sees as intertwined. “I view research as an addition to undergraduate education,” he says. “We need both.”

*Please note: Since your unitrust benefits may be different, you may want to click here to view a color example of your benefits.

Because of Ron

Students who have received scholarships funded by Ron Pasquinelli.This retired civil engineer is still building—for the future.

“Seven graduated. All have jobs. Two are going right into PhD studies. One into a master’s.” Bill Roberts, associate vice president for advancement and alumni engagement, reels off the latest student progress report to Ronald J. Pasquinelli ’59.

Ron Pasquinelli
Ron Pasquinelli

“Go get ‘em, guys!” says Ron, who does more than cheer ‘his’ students on. His $20,000 in annual scholarship gifts breaks down financial barriers and keeps them in school. They are here because of Ron.

“Ron’s scholarship is for the student with no other options to pay their student bill. They’re truly going to have to go home,” says Bill.

There are four more due to graduate next year. Ron is helping two sophomores.Two juniors. In the past two years, his generosity has affected 21 students with an average 3.18 GPA.

Why does he do it? Because a tuition crisis shouldn’t hold a hard-working Husky back. “You gotta give ’em a chance,” Ron says. “MichiganTech helped me. I’ve done well, and I return the favor.”

“You’ve learned how to work at Tech and all you have to do is go out in the world and do it.”—Ron Pasquinelli’s advice to MichiganTech students

He earned his bachelor’s in civil engineering at Michigan Tech and later a master’s in business administration from Golden Gate University. The 1999 Michigan Tech Board of Trustees Silver Medal winner and 2009 Civil and Environmental Engineering Academy inductee is a prime example of what this year’s student commencement speaker Drew Markel highlighted: the many hats MichiganTech Huskies wear. Ron’s hats include military service, construction, financial management, international business consulting—and sailing, deep-sea diving, community service, and philanthropic endeavors from coast to coast.

Student who benefited from a scholarship funded by Ron Pasquinelli.He still gets together with his former sailboat crew, but these days stays off the high seas. “I stay out of trouble. I don’t mind causing it for others,” he says, laughing. “But I like to stay out of it myself.”

He’s still up for the thrill of seeing Michigan Tech students succeed.

“It’s a pleasure to see it happening while it’s ongoing, and get the feedback while I’m here,” says Ron. “Students benefit, and so does the country, and the world.”

Bill tells Ron that he’s somewhat of a celebrity around Tech. The “Pasquinelli Style” of giving appeals to present and potential donors who appreciate immediate, gratifying results.

Students who have received scholarships funded by Ron Pasquinelli.His annual gift is offered in addition to the $1 million planned gift under the Ronald J. and Marie B. Pasquinelli Education Opportunity endowed scholarship fund established in 1995.

Bill, who previously headed financial aid and saw Ron’s transformational gifts in action firsthand, will tell you this kind of interaction with the generous people who support MichiganTech on every level is his favorite part of the job. “There’s good people out there doing good things.”

Walking Down the Same Halls: Lina Taskovich

Written by The Graduate School at Michigan Tech

Filling out financial aid paperwork before the first year of college can be stressful. Thankfully, a number of aid options are available to most students, including grants and scholarships. This support is made possible through the generosity and foresight of a great number of donors.

For students in graduate school, the options are much fewer. Last year, around 87 percent of master’s students at Michigan Tech were self- funded without University financial aid, mirroring nearly identical numbers seen around the country. While loans are available to help cover expenses, a helping hand is most welcome for those in advanced study.

Lina Taskovich, a 1952 Tech graduate, established the Natale and Maria Luisa Tormen Endowed Scholarship to benefit students from Ecuador or Italy, the two nations making up her heritage. Without a significant student population hailing from either Ecuador or Italy in the undergraduate ranks, financial aid staff and the Graduate School were informed by John Gierke of the Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences about a graduate student who would benefit greatly from Lina’s generosity.

Teresa Munoz is pursuing an advanced degree in geological sciences, hails from Ecuador, and happens to have attended the exact same high school as Lina. “I used to work at the Public Metropolitan Enterprise of Water Supply and Sanitation of Quito (EPMAPS),” she says, “which is interested in proper management of water resources over the basins that are used for water supplies.”

Teresa was awarded the Tormen Scholarship, enabling her to focus on her research. “My topic is on the contributions of glacier meltwater to recharging groundwater systems in the headwaters of Ecuador’s Pita River Watershed,” she explains. “Most of my work uses geochemistry to quantify the contributions of melting glaciers on Cotopaxi to the river ows and groundwater supplies.”

Lina’s gift isn’t only benefiting Teresa, but is also helping contribute to the body of knowledge in geological sciences and the scientific understanding of the hydrological processes in Ecuador. “After I graduate, I will go back to my country and work for EPMAPS and contribute to their objectives for more sustainable management of water resources,” says Teresa. “I am very grateful to have received the Natale and Maria Tormen Endowed Scholarship and Lina’s generosity means so much to me.”

The two had the chance to meet last December in California, one generation of Tech researcher benefiting from another. Asked why she endowed this scholarship, Lina said it was to help others get “the same excellent education I had.” Taskovich graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, the only female graduate in the discipline. She came to Tech intending to stay a year; she stayed the course and, in fact, encouraged two brothers and friends to attend, too.

Lina remains grateful that her parents encouraged her to enter science; she has named her endowed scholarship after them— Natale and Maria Luisa Tormen—and their encouragement those decades ago is making more research, more scholarship possible in 2015.

Would you like to make that kind of difference? The Graduate School’s growth has doubled in the last five years and the University’s goal is to double that again—even with the self-funding model. There are many ways to give, and your generosity continues groundbreaking research, innovative ideas, and discoveries to make a difference in the lives of all of us.

906 Callers

Tech Line callers

Who’s on the other end of those Michigan Tech phone calls? The answer may surprise you. (Hint: it’s not just about updating records and collecting money.)

Read more about the students who will tell you about what’s happening on campus, want to learn what you’ve been up to since you graduated, and can help you help Michigan Tech.