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Planned Giving

Teaching by Example, Giving for the Future

Grace Niemcziek 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

eBrochure Request Form

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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 give to San Jose State, a nonprofit corporation currently located at San Jose, CA, or its successor thereto, ______________* [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 potential 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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 may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. 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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

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