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Planned Giving

An Opportunity Becomes a Dream

Terri Bella

Terri McBride

Nothing in Terri McBride's humble beginnings indicated she would end up here. Born and raised in a low-income area of a Texas town, McBride, '14 Molecular Biology, is the first in her family to go to college. 

"This doesn't happen to people with my background and where I came from," she says. McBride joined the Coast Guard at age 20, planning to use the benefits she would receive from the G.I. Bill to eventually put herself through college. Stationed in San Francisco as a cook on ships, McBride planned to serve for four years, but when her father passed away suddenly, those plans changed. She reenlisted for another six years of service and used her earnings to help support her mother and younger sister. As her experience in the kitchen grew, she was recruited to be a personal chef for a three-star admiral. In time, McBride found that while learning to accommodate the admiral's dietary preferences, she developed an unexpected interest in the science of healthy nutrition.

When her Coast Guard service concluded, McBride decided to pursue her newfound interest in San Jose State's Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging. In addition to her military benefits, McBride discovered she qualified for scholarships that would offer assistance with living expenses as well as tuition - an added support that she desperately needed.

"Receiving scholarships has given me not only the financial support, but also the emotional support to forge on," she says. "If it weren't for the generosity of donors, students like me could not dare to dream of getting this far."

After taking a biochemistry class and doing research in SJSU's Soto Lab, McBride found her true passion: a new path combining science with medicine. Last summer, she was selected from a large applicant pool to intern at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where she worked with a doctor doing cancer research. This life-changing experience has McBride considering medical school and doctoral programs. "It's scary for me to even dream this big given where I came from," she says. "An M.D. and Ph.D: Can this really happen for me?"

McBride is currently a life science research assistant in Cancer Biology at Sweet-Cordero Laboratory, Stanford School of Medicine.

Want to Help Fulfill a Dream?

If you'd like to help students like Bella dream bigger and reach their highest potential, consider giving to a scholarship or a program in an area of your choice. 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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