Gillett Society Donor Spotlight: Gregg & Tori Dimkoff
Tell us a little about yourselves. How did you both end up at Grand Valley?
Gregg: Grand Valley hired me in 1975 to develop a finance major, and then teach all of the courses. Over the years I've been the assistant dean, acting associate dean, finance department chairman, and director of the certificate program in financial planning. I'll complete my 43rd year at Grand Valley at the end of this semester [April 2018].
Tori: While attending a Grand Valley function, I connected with a KCON administrator, and that led to a job in the college of nursing beginning in 2011. I am currently a KCON affiliate faculty member, and my areas of expertise include mental health and community health nursing.
What is your favorite thing to do in Grand Rapids?
Greg & Tori: We both work in Grand Rapids. Helping students learn and attending GVSU events are at the top of our list. We also like visiting Meijer Gardens and Art Prize. In the West Michigan area, visiting our children and grandchildren is our favorite activity.
What is your favorite part about teaching at Grand Valley?
Gregg: Sharing wisdom and knowledge, and trying to make learning as interesting to students as I can. I also stay in touch with as many graduates as I can, and get immense pride from their accomplishments.
Tori: Seeing the next generation of nursing students develop and grow into nursing professionals.
Why did you decide to make a planned gift? What impact are you hoping to make with this gift?
Gregg: I remember how difficult it was to make ends meet as an undergrad student. In my freshman year, after paying for tuition and food, I lived on a dime a day. My parents helped as much as they could, but no one had much money back then, and my parents had three kids in college at the same time. Many students are in that same situation today. We've both had students in our classes who had gone more than a day without eating because they didn't have money for food. We see the financial struggles our students face, and we want to make at least a little difference. Now that we are older, our major expenses have fallen, and that allows us to make a difference.
How did you set up the planned gift?
Gregg: All I had to do was designate Grand Valley as a recipient of a portion of my estate upon my death, and then notify Grand Valley that I had done so. People who do so become members of the Gillett Society. As Tori and I continue to get older and our net worth increases, we plan to gradually raise the portion of our estate going to Grand Valley.
Why do you think that it's important to give back to Grand Valley?
Gregg: Grand Valley has been very good to us. Also, the State of Michigan hasn't adequately funded Grand Valley at the same level as the other state-supported universities, so there is a real need.
What would you say to encourage others to give back?
Gregg: It's not necessarily the amount that matters, it's the act of giving, and it's similar to showing kindness to strangers. It's one of the characteristics separating humans from the rest of the animal kingdom - generosity to strangers.
What do you want your Laker Effect to be?
Gregg & Tori: We want to help needy students with their college expenses, enough so that they are able to complete their degrees without crushing debt. Further, we want that help to continue long after we are gone.