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Planned Giving

Scholarships Inspired by Adventure

Bertha Kalm

Bertha Kalm had adventure in her blood. Independently and some 25 years apart, her father and maternal grandparents left their native Sweden in the late 19th century, crossing the Norwegian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. From New York, they continued westward—clear to California, where their parallel paths finally intersected.

Born in 1914, Kalm, ’36 Education, was raised amongst the trees and bees and blossoms of her family’s Southern California citrus ranch until she was old enough to go on a journey of her own. In 1933, she came to San Jose to earn a degree in education. She taught elementary school in the San Jose area for one year until the sudden death of her father brought her home. Back in Southern California, Kalm embarked on a successful 30-year career as a business educator—but she always made time for adventure.

First sailing across the Atlantic on the luxury ocean liner SS America in 1952, Kalm’s world travels ranged from researching her genealogy in Sweden to exploring regions as far flung as Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Greece. She trotted the globe to such an extent throughout her life that her occupation would be officially recorded for posterity as “educator and adventurer.” Yet it was her passion for education, her Swedish heritage and San Jose State—where she spent only three of her 99 years on this earth—that held the most important places in her heart.

Nearly two decades ago, Kalm endowed an SJSU scholarship to support graduate students who, like her, demonstrated “a desire to make a difference for humanity.” In 2013, she left the university a generous portion of her estate to further strengthen the endowment. With this final gift, Kalm has ensured that students may pursue graduate school and their own adventures in this mighty, vast world.

The Bertha Kalm Scholarship in the Office of Graduate Studies supports graduate students in any field of study who have a financial need and who “demonstrate a desire to make a difference for humanity.” Upon her death, Kalm gave $625,000 to her endowed scholarship and another $625,000 to the Connie L. Lurie College of Education.

“I found out that I was chosen for the Kalm Scholarship while I was working as a teaching assistant for the geology department’s field class, collecting samples in the sierra nevada. I climbed up a hill to get cell reception and was thrilled when I received the congratulatory text from my adviser! After a year here at SJSU, I am beginning to see that it is possible to pursue a career that I really love and work toward bettering my community.”
—Callie Sendek, ’15 MA Geology, 2014 Kalm Scholarship Recipient

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to San Jose State 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to San Jose State [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 SJSU 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 SJSU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 SJSU 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 SJSU where you agree to make a gift to SJSU 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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