Skip to Content

Giving Back to the Place Where It All Began

Ball State Alumna Inspires Future Generations to Give Back to Ball State

Dr. Jan McCarthy, '52 MA '58, gives back to the place where it all began as a way to inspire future generations at Ball State.

Dr. Jan McCarthy, '52 MA '58, gives back to the place where it all began as a way to inspire future generations at Ball State.

By Sierra Jackson

Throughout the time she spent at Ball State, Dr. Jan McCarthy, '52 MA '58, was fortunate to leave with a variety of experiences that contributed to her professional growth. Graduating in less than four years, she was offered a position that she had not even applied for, thanks to a professor's referral.

"The absolute most important thing about my time at Ball State was the impact of the faculty and staff. My professors were always suggesting that I needed to expand my professional relationships and pursue new challenges, so that is what I did," McCarthy says.

When she attended, the school was still called Ball State Teachers College, and the only dorm available was Lucina Hall. As enrollment increased, students had to draw names to secure a spot living on campus.

McCarthy and a few other students spent their time in school living with a local family. This was an enriching experience—having education discussions with the educator in the family and enjoying classical music sessions and discussions with another family member. The friendships continued throughout their lives.

Following graduation, McCarthy was extensively involved in the advancement of early childhood education. Along with honors from her time teaching at Indiana State University and the University of South Florida, she received the Ball State Distinguished Alumnus Award (1998), the State of Indiana Sagamore of the Wabash (1991 and 1992), Outstanding Educator in America (1978), and Ball State's Outstanding Teachers College Alumnus Award (1972).

"The bond that I had with my professors showed me how much they really cared about their students' successes. Pushing me to gain new and challenging experiences caused me to be more self-aware of my own strengths and weaknesses that guided me on a professional career and study path. This is a model that I attempted to exemplify with my own students in higher education," McCarthy says.

These experiences motivated McCarthy to give back to the place where it all began. She feels that one should always take time to remember how we ended up with our success.

"My husband, also a professor, always told me to remember that high quality undergraduate programs are the building blocks for successful graduate study. It is important to acknowledge all of the support we received while working to reach our goals, and I think that people sometimes tend to forget about that part," McCarthy says.

After her husband passed away, she made a provision to her will to create the Dr. Jan (Gorrell) McCarthy and Dr. John McCarthy Scholarship and Faculty Development Fund to benefit graduate and doctoral students concentrating in early childhood education at Ball State.

"I decided to give because I value the doors that were opened for me, and I want to provide students with the same experiences I had. All of my successes stemmed from the quality of education and experiences at Ball State, and that made the difference in my career and in my life," McCarthy says.

Since then, McCarthy has continued to give back through a charitable gift annuity. This is a type of life income plan that pays a fixed sum each year for the life of one or more beneficiaries.

"I found the charitable gift annuity very helpful since it provides a fixed amount of additional income for my retirement and has additional income tax benefits. Ultimately, the residual of the annuity will support our scholarship and faculty development fund. It was very easy to establish with the Ball State foundation—and I have done it more than once," McCarthy says.

Strengthen Your Future and Ours
Because of the generosity of friends and alumni like you, Ball State students are provided with dedicated professors, top-ranked programs, and state-of-the-art facilities. Contact D. Mark Helmus at 765-285-8312 or dmhelmus@bsu.edu to learn how you can extend your support to Ball State.

eBrochure Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the brochure.

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.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.