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From Mentor to Motivator

Alum Enlightens Prospective Students

James Barnes and Solange Cordeiro

James Barnes, with friend Solange Cordeiro, at the Indianapolis Art Center opening. His sculptures won Best of 3-D Mixed Media/ Sculpture and will be gifted to Hope Academy, a Fairbanks Hospital Charter School.

With so many worthwhile organizations out there, you may wonder which one would benefit most from a bequest in your will or trust. For Indianapolis resident James Barnes, '79, several life experiences led him to an easy decision.

"What better place than Ball State?" says Barnes, whose college experience helped shape his future and inspired him to include Ball State as part of his legacy.

Barnes transferred to Ball State at the start of his junior year and graduated with a degree in industrial arts education from Teachers College. He taught industrial arts for two years at Merle Sidener Gifted Academy in Indianapolis before moving to manufacturing, where he worked with AES Interconnects. In 1995, he founded Jim Barnes Inc. (JBI) as a manufacturers' representative. He also found time to become a mentor.

All of these experiences led Barnes to support Ball State, where he found a way to include his various areas of interest to create scholarships in both the Department of Technology and the College of Architecture and Planning.

Philanthropy Forged Through Strong Relationships

Barnes has remained close to a few of his professors and is particularly grateful for the support of Olon Dotson, associate professor of architecture. "Professor Dotson has been supportive of my interest in mentoring students, always making time to help me out when I bring potential students to campus for tours," he says. "Together, we show these students an inside perspective of Ball State."

Barnes also contributed to the Dr. William H. Middleton Scholarship, which resulted in a friendship with the Middleton family and sparked his own interest in giving back. "I saw what a positive effect this gift had on continuing 'Doc' Middleton's legacy at Ball State," he says. "I was inspired."

Motivating Young Minds

It's clear that Barnes' background as an educator helped shape his service accomplishments and, in turn, his philanthropic direction. About 20 years ago, he joined Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor. He worked with many children but ultimately wanted to extend his outreach to college-bound students.

"I really wanted to work with youth who had a good possibility of going to college," he says. "I thought with my background and training, and my connections in the field of manufacturing, I could help expose students to diverse opportunities."

The result was his partnership with the Starfish Initiative, a college readiness mentorship program for academically promising, economically disadvantaged high school students in Marion County, Indiana.

Barnes has used his work with Starfish to introduce his mentees to different jobs and careers, letting them explore their interests in preparation for their post-high school years. In addition to visits to Ball State, he takes them to local manufacturers and design firms.

He also shares his love of sculpting and working with his hands. When Barnes and his mentees aren't seeing plays or visiting art galleries, they work together on art projects. He's presently working on a metal sculpture for Starfish with his current mentee, who will attend Ball State this fall.

But funding scholarships to help students and mentoring wasn't enough. Barnes' endowments focus on the need for increased diversity in technical fields.

"I wanted to focus on minorities interested in technology and architecture, especially young women, because there's just not that many females who apply in these areas," he says. "I was hoping that scholarships earmarked for women would influence more of them to pursue these fields and contribute professionally."

Thanks to his love of Ball State, Barnes has been able to make that gift a reality. Although his scholarships won't be funded until after his lifetime, he will continue to make additional gifts in the meantime.

—Shelia-Marie Stacy, Communications Graduate Assistant

Make a Greater Impact

Follow your passion with a gift to the Ball State University Foundation. Contact D. Mark Helmus at 765-285-8312 or dmhelmus@bsu.edu for details.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Ball State University Foundation 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 Ball State University Foundation, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 2800 W. Bethel Avenue, Muncie, IN 47304, 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 the foundation 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.

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 the foundation 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 the foundation 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 the foundation where you agree to make a gift to the foundation 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.

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