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Jeff '79 & Becky '80 Eckstrom: Legacy Through Their Will

Jeff '79 & Becky '80 Eckstrom: Legacy Through Their Will
Grand Valley alumni, Becky '80 and Jeff '79 Eckstrom, feel that the university has significantly impacted their lives. "It enhanced our lives and helped shape us as people." After learning that the state of Michigan provides just 17 percent of Grand Valley's overall funding, the Eckstroms decided they wanted to find a new way to give back and support the students and staff at GVSU for generations to come.

The pair already gives regularly to the Irwin Club and other special projects, so when they learned about planned giving opportunities, they were immediately interested. "It's an easy way to give, and the university provided us with very qualified people to help us set up the gift." They decided to direct their estate gift to funds that supported their areas of passion. Jeff will leave a portion to create the Laker Tailgating Society Endowment, which will work to bring the community together at Arend D. Lubbers Stadium. Becky's portion will support the Becky Eckstrom Environmental Studies Scholarship Endowment. This fund will provide scholarships to Grand Valley students who attended Forest Hills Public Schools' Goodwillie Environmental School in 5th or 6th grades, a school Becky helped establish.

Through these planned gifts, the Eckstroms will leave a legacy in the programs most important to them. "Many people have other financial commitments that make it hard to give, but this defers to the future when they won't have those financial burdens." Anyone can make a planned gift now to support the Grand Valley community in the future.

"Grand Valley had such a big influence on who we became, so knowing our gift will continue to support our alma mater after we're gone gives us a good feeling."