Supporting the Great Lakes Research Center: Alan ’73 ’79 and Linda ’79 McInally

Alan and Linda McInally help Michigan Tech by supporting the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC).

McInally
Alan and Linda McInally

“We loved our time at Tech,” Linda says. “We both felt our education at Tech was a huge contributing factor to our professional success. Giving back is our way to help ensure Tech is going to be there for future generations of students with interests like ours.”

Linda received a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1979. Alan earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1973 and his master’s in mathematics in 1979.

When the couple learned of Tech’s plans to build the GLRC, they supported the building fund. During a visit to the new center, Alan and Linda shared they were having a problem with an invasive weed, Eurasian Watermilfoil, near their summer home on the Les Cheneaux Islands in Lake Huron.

That discussion led to a collaboration with GLRC researchers and a Lake Huron watershed council to study the weed and work on solutions.

“This was a great project and opportunity to utilize the extensive resources available at Tech to help solve a ‘real world’ problem near our home,” Linda says. Researchers continue to study this area and are working to eliminate the weed.

Since moving to the West (where it is very dry), Linda says they now understand and appreciate protecting and preserving the Great Lakes.

“Giving to the GLRC makes me feel like I am helping to protect these great waters for future generations,” she says. “The GLRC is the perfect place to study, using unbiased scientific methods, the potential impact of these manmade and natural forces and offer guidance to the public, lawmakers, and the private sector as to what needs to be done to protect these beautiful waters and the land that surrounds them.”


Protect. Preserve. Advance. Great Lakes Research Center

Deploy under-ice robots. Study lake ecology and fish biology. Capture sonar images with underwater autonomous vehicles. Investigate aerosol chemistry and how warm winters impact coastal food supplies.

Inside the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC), biologists, geologists, engineers, chemists, geospatial information science specialists, and social scientists work together with students and staff along Michigan Tech’s Innovation Shore.

Great Lakes Research Center
Great Lakes Research Center at Michigan Technological University

The four-story, 50,000-square-foot center has a boathouse for the University’s nine surface and sub-surface research vessels and environmental monitoring buoy network, a complex of research laboratories, faculty, staff and student offices, and a public area that includes conference facilities and space for K-12 education. Eight laboratories are tailored for different research topics that relate to the Great Lakes, including invasive species, fish ecology, sediments, remote sensing, and atmospheric science.

“What we learn here can be both scaled and transferred to the world, creating opportunities far beyond the Great Lakes,” says the Center’s Director Guy Meadows. “We bring scientists together for freshwater research on the shores of the Laurentian Great Lakes Basin to be a leader in aquatic science, engineering, technology, and policy.”

Meadows says one of the Center’s most important functions is to educate the scientists, engineers, technologists, policymakers, and stakeholders of tomorrow about the Great Lakes basin. The Center for Science and Environmental Outreach provides K–12 student, teacher, and community education/outreach programs.

With the Center’s outreach programs to elementary students, Meadows says they are working to create the next generation of scientists.

“We need to engage them with the concept that science can be fun before the eighth grade and hold their interest through college.” Last year the Center’s outreach programs reached more than 13,000 students, teachers, community, and family members.

To maintain the Center and the research taking place, support is needed. Meadows says fellowships support graduate and undergraduate students who are conducting research about the Great Lakes. “They are the next generation of leaders and scientists who are working across all science frontiers to solve multidisciplinary problems. We need to help recruit the best and brightest and retain them at Michigan Tech to provide educational opportunities for the next generation of Great Lakes and freshwater scientists, engineers, and policy makers.”

Beyond fellowships for students, creating an endowment for the Center’s operations would allow new research to address the challenges facing the Great Lakes. “An endowment would support leadership development, advanced capabilities, and collective efforts to make a positive and purposeful impact on the Great Lakes and the region.”

The Center’s custom fleet of research vessels launch right from campus on the Keweenaw Waterway—the open waters of Lake Superior are just a few miles away. Due to its heavy use, the Center’s main vessel, the R/V Agassiz soon will need two new engines. The vessel is used for research, education, and outreach, making two to three class trips per day, several days per week and has been doing so for the past 15 years.

Meadows says they would like to build the research vessel fleet by being the first university to operate a fully autonomous research vessel adding an 18-foot-long driverless science ship. This autonomous surface vessel (ASV) would not need a crew onboard and can operate continuously for up to five days, 24 hours a day. This would allow Tech to pioneer and perform aquatic research.“We take Great Lakes science and bring computers, autonomous vehicles, engineering, and cybersecurity together for practical use.”

Superior, the University’s high performance computing cluster, provides researchers with new computational tools to predict wind, wave, and current patterns in all five Great Lakes. Scientists also can better predict complex processes by building models of nutrients, harmful algae blooms, and transport paths of invasive species and pollutants. Computing clusters like Superior are needed to look to the future. “What will the Great Lakes be like in 50 years? What decisions do we make today to preserve this resource? The GLRC is built upon the latest technology, the most advanced research, and the best scientists and engineers. Our vision is to sustain this excellence.”

Learn how you can support the Great Lakes Research Center. Contact Director Guy Meadows, gmeadows@mtu.edu, 906-487-1106.


Your Family Letter

Writing a letter to your family is an excellent way to provide key information to your family after your passing while sharing with them a personal message of love and wisdom. Learn how to create your family letter as part of the estate planning process.

Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.  

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.

 

 


Did you know you can make a gift to Michigan Tech and receive fixed income for life?

A charitable gift annuity is a giving vehicle that allows you to enjoy tax benefits and an income stream in exchange for your gift of cash or appreciated assets. Learn more about life income gifts or use our gift planning calculator.

Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools. 

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.


Health and Wealth: 10 Mistakes to Avoid

Street signs for Health and WealthStart with a plan for your health and wealth by exploring this roadmap provided by Northern Trust and their partner, Pinnacle Health.*

https://wealth.northerntrust.com/roadmap

With many tips on how to make good decisions when it comes to your health and wealth, experts also believe it’s important to point out common and avoidable health care and financial wealth mistakes.

Health Care Missteps
 1. Not having a plan – not preparing for age-related health issues
 2. Not knowing your or your family’s health history
 3. Not having swift access to key medical records
 4. Being passive or withholding questions during doctor visits
 5. Ignoring lifestyle factors proven to affect health, vitality and longevity (e.g., smoking,
     weight, exercise)
 6. Ignoring symptoms, therefore preventing early detection
 7. Allowing a busy professional life to prevent you from vital screenings (e.g., mammograms,
     colonoscopies)
 8. Getting only one opinion in the case of a serious diagnosis
 9. Traveling without medical preparation
10. Being unaware of rapidly changing medical advances

Financial Missteps
 1. Not having a financial plan until a crisis happens
 2. Not having (monitoring) a good credit history
 3. Not having a sufficient cash reserve
 4. Letting someone else “take care of the finances” without your review or awareness
 5. Inadequate, or inappropriate, health, life, disability, property and casualty insurance
 6. Living beyond your means
 7. Chasing the “hottest” investments
 8. Improper beneficiary designations on retirement plans and life insurance
 9. Not updating estate documents as life events occur
10. Not reviewing your income taxes annually

For more information on providing for your family and planning for your future, please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free tools. 

Northern Trust manages the Michigan Tech Fund endowment and other investments and offers this information as an educational service. This article used with permission from Northern Trust.


Gifts of Appreciated Securities

For years, you have carefully invested and watched your savings grow. What took a lifetime to build can be instantly lost through capital gains tax when you sell. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than sell your stock, consider giving some of it to the Michigan Tech Fund. You won’t pay any taxes and you receive an income tax deduction for your gift.

Benefits to you:

AVOID capital gains taxes on the sale of your appreciated assets.

RECEIVE an income tax deduction for the full amount of your gift.

GIVE more this year without impacting your cash flow.

CAPTURE the value of your stock and end the worrying about market ups and downs.

PUT your gift to work right away for the Michigan Tech programs you care about most.

Gifting appreciated securities in place of cash may be a smart philanthropic and tax-wise alternative. You can learn more about giving stock to Michigan Tech


Invest, Plan, Provide for Your Future

As a young alum you are on your way to great success in life. And, time is your greatest asset in terms of investing and planning for your future. One of the best things you can do right now is consider the steps you will take to provide for yourself, your family, and causes that are important to you.  Small steps you can take today:

  • Name beneficiaries for your retirement plan assets and life insurance.
  • Designate Pay on Death or Transfer on Death beneficiaries for your investments, checking or savings accounts.

For more information on providing for your family and planning for your future, please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free tools.  

Northern Trust manages the Michigan Tech Fund endowment and other investments and offers this information as an educational service.


Eleven Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan

You’ve completed your estate plan and health care directives and put all the documents in a safe place. You’re done! Or are you? One thing we know for sure, is that change is constant and changes in your life can impact your estate plan.

Estate plans are affected by changes in the value of your assets, changes in your family, and potentially by changes in federal or state law. Therefore, it’s a good idea for you to sit down with your attorney every three to five years and review your plan. Given all the potential areas that can change, it’s quite likely that you may wish to modify some portion of the plan.

Here are a number of reasons to consider revising or updating your plan.

  1. New children, grandchildren, or other heirs
  2. Move to a different state
  3. Sale or purchase of a major asset
  4. Reaching age 70½
  5. Your selected beneficiary is deceased
  6. Divorce or remarriage
  7. Substantial change in value of your estate
  8. Adding a major property to a living trust
  9. Selected executor or trustee is no longer available
  10. You’re considering a bequest for Michigan Tech or other charities
  11. Your planning was done before the estate tax laws/thresholds were changed in 2017.

Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan – or if you don’t have one, to get started. Many of the documents you have gathered to file your income tax return may be useful in reviewing your plan. Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.


Don’t have a will? You are not alone!

Fewer than half of American adults have a will. Act today to provide for and protect your family first, and then provide for charity.

The good news is that you can provide for the people and causes most important to you by taking simple steps now. Creating your plan for the future can be easy and enjoyable and can be customized to meet your personal and charitable goals.

While an attorney should always draft your will, we can help demystify the process and prepare you for meeting with your attorney with these simple steps.

  • Itemize your assets

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side, write something you own. On the right side, write the name or names of the person(s) you wish to receive that item or asset.

  • Organize your estate

Make the process of organizing your estate and plans even easier by requesting our free wills guide. This fill-in-the-blank guide walks you through the process of gathering information about what you own, your family, and your goals.

  • Write down questions

Consider practical questions, such as, “If I give my house to my adult son and my adult daughter, what will they do with it? If you come up with a question that you can’t seem to find a solution for, make a note to ask your attorney.

  • Review your plans for family

You can give some assets to family members right away and to others over time. Ask us how you can provide an income stream or a lump sum to a loved one and achieve your personal and inheritance goals.

  • Consider charity

Remember to include any charities that are important to you in your plan. If you have given during life, then consider providing for these organizations through your estate. Ask us about plans like charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities that can help your family and Michigan Tech later.

  • Visit your attorney

Bring the information you have gathered and questions to your estate planning attorney. Your attorney can draft a will or trust that will achieve your goals. You complete the plan through a simple signing process. Learn more about how to find an estate planning attorney

  • Update your plan

Update your estate plan as your financial situation, taxes, and life changes. Marriages, births, and deaths are all events that may make you want you to revise your plans.

Now is the perfect time to get started on your estate plan. Many of the documents you have gathered to file your income tax return may be useful in reviewing your plan. Please visit our website at mtulegacy.org for free estate planning tools.  

Email giftplan@mtu.edu to request our new brochure, Your Guide to Effective Giving After Tax Reform.


Bill Jackson ’58, Provided Lasting Impact to Michigan Tech

jackson-william-personnelMichigan Tech is mourning William “Bill” G. Jackson, who passed away peacefully on March 1 in Scottsdale Arizona. Jackson graduated from Michigan Tech in 1958 with a BS in Electrical Engineering. His generosity is a perfect example of the impact a single individual can have. Jackson made multiple transformational gifts that continue to make a lasting and dramatic positive impact on campus.

Jackson’s first gift to Tech was made in July of 1973. He and his wife, Gloria, continued supporting the University with numerous gifts over the years. These gifts supported departments and initiatives including the Annual Fund, the Class of ’58 Endowed Scholarship, the Industrial Archeology Program, and the Rozsa Center. The couple made their first major gift when they established the William and Gloria Jackson Endowed Scholarship in 1998. This provided scholarships for undergraduate students majoring in electrical engineering, with preference given to graduates of Calumet High School, which provided Jackson, who remembers his roots, with a start in life that he continued to value.

In 2006 Jackson was presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Alumni Board of Director’s highest honor, for his professional achievements, for being a model of the entrepreneurial spirit, for being a champion of higher education, and for bringing distinction to Michigan Technological University.

And still Jackson continued giving. Another major gift, given with his late wife Gloria in 2007, established the William and Gloria Jackson Professorship Endowed Fund which focused on bridging information technology and entrepreneurship. The gift arose from Gloria’s strong belief in the power of endowments and Bill’s strong respect and appreciation of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The generous gift both established and provided recruiting funds for the endowed professorship now held by Dr. Timothy Havens, associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science and director of the Data Sciences graduate program and ICC Center for Data Sciences.

Dr. Havens says the William and Gloria Jackson position invaluable. “It provides funds for the Jackson Fellowship that I use to recruit exceptional graduate students. These students are able to work on higher risk/higher reward research, which is beneficial for both the student and also myself. Brian Flanagan, an accelerated master’s student, is the Jackson Fellow and is investigating how advanced data science can be used to predict maintenance in large fleets of vehicles.” This project has allowed Havens to build a new collaboration with Ford.

But Jackson wasn’t done yet. Another major gift, in spring 2013, made dramatic changes almost immediately and continues to support students and instructors. The William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, on the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s second floor, was constructed. It includes spaces and equipment for faculty training on new teaching methods and technologies including assessment, recorded lectures, and the Canvas learning management system. Though novelties at the time, all now enjoy widespread, effective use in Michigan Tech classes, and more than half of Michigan Tech instructors connect with the Jackson CTL annually for training and support.

In 2013, Jackson’s gift established a secure testing center that allowed local administration of the fundamentals of engineering and other commercial exams as well as support for accommodated exams. Demand for the use of this center has grown exponentially resulting in a summer 2016 expansion (also supported by the gift). In its first fall semester, about 70 exams were administered; today, it’s not uncommon for the center to give that number in a single day, with semester totals approaching 3,000.

Jackson’s gift helped to install lecture capture capabilities in 20 university classrooms, another trend that has continued to grow. (There are now 38.) During fall 2017, more than 5,000 hours of video was reviewed by students, with captures in over 100 different sections. The Jackson gift has provided much needed technology upgrades in several university classrooms, and fully supported the creation of the 60-seat Jackson Active Learning Center in the basement of Rekhi Hall which is tailored to the blended learning classroom model.

Jackson believed the most important impact were the opportunities his gifts created for people. In addition to providing initial full support of the testing center coordinator position, the gift has funded more than 20 blended learning and online curriculum development grants for instructors in almost all Michigan Tech departments. His gift provided the basis for an equipment loan program, and the impetus to begin a program that helps instructors learn how to teach online.

When Jackson visited campus in July 2014 to celebrate the opening of the Center that bore his name, Director Mike Meyer was especially struck by Bill’s humility, his desire to make a lasting difference, and his people focus.

“Bill brought two of his grandchildren along to the open house event,” Meyer says. “It was clear that his family was of paramount importance to him, and he wanted the kids to see the Center and understand his legacy. After a tour of both the CTL and the Testing Center his gift had created and a chance to visit with many of the instructors supported through grants, I tried to thank Jackson formally for his gift. Bill’s humble response? ‘It’s just great to have good people to put the money to work.’”

Bill and his family can rest assured Michigan Tech will continue to treasure his legacy. His transformational gifts will help students and instructors at Michigan Tech for many years to come.