Teaching by Example, Giving for the Future
Attending a one-room country school in her childhood, Grace Niemcziek always knew she was destined to be a teacher. Choosing San Jose State for its excellent reputation in teacher training, Niemcziek, '42 Education, recalls learning by example from dedicated teachers who went "above and beyond," even traveling to her hometown to supervise her student teaching during wartime gas rationing. After graduating from SJSU, Niemcziek pursued a career in teaching and school administration for 36 years and credits much of her success to the university and its teachers.
A Plan to Give Back
Following the death of her beloved husband of 47 years, Niemcziek revised her estate plans and decided to honor her alma mater with a gift that would not only express her gratitude but would also advance the education program that made such a difference in her life. "I love the San Jose State community and have watched it grow over the years," she says. "I wanted to give back to the university what it has given to me."
Through a gift of property, Niemcziek established a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) for the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. The CRAT provides Niemcziek with a fixed income for the rest of her life, after which the balance in the trust will be used to fund the Florian and Grace Niemcziek Endowment. Niemcziek also makes significant annual cash gifts to help meet any immediate needs the college may have.
Helping Others Who Need It
As a former educator and a product of the Depression, it was important to Niemcziek for her gift to take the form of a scholarship. "I had a tough time raising funds to go to college," she explains. "Now I can help others who need it."
Niemcziek is also glad she was able to start the scholarship while she was still alive so she can have the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with its recipients. She looks forward to returning to SJSU every year to present her scholarship to the latest recipient. "It's gratifying to know that I'm helping students who will in turn help others through their teaching," says Niemcziek. "Giving to San Jose State is a forever thing."
If you are interested in establishing a charitable trust or would like to explore other ways to include San Jose State in your estate plans, please contact Office of Planned Giving at 408-924-1473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.