marygrove college alumni

Nancy McDonough Geschke '64

Nancy McDonough Geschke"At Marygrove I learned that you are expected to use your education on behalf of other people, to make a difference somewhere," says Nancy McDonough Geschke. Her diverse and exceptional career proves that the instruction hit the mark.

In 1964, with her newly minted Marygrove degree in History and Political Science, Nan returned home to Cleveland to teach school and marry Charles Geschke, who was an instructor at John Carroll University. Eight years later, the Geschkes, with three young children in tow, headed to Palo Alto, California, not yet aware that they would become respected pioneers in the development of the Silicon Valley computer industry.

Nan entered San Jose State University in 1974 to pursue a degree in library science, which she completed four years later. She volunteered as a librarian at her children's elementary school. Then, in 1980, she began working in corporate libraries. She managed the Westinghouse Research Facility library. She also worked as sales director and consultant for a library placement firm until 1993. Always a lover of libraries, Nan was president of the Special Libraries Association-San Andreas chapter for two years and was active on many association committees.

Nan began volunteering full time in the mid-90s. Nan's leadership for the City of Los Altos' Historical Commission led her to produce a successful television program on local history, launch a permanent history museum building and exhibit, and initiate and chair periodic exhibitions to showcase the significant social, scientific and literary contributions of the region's residents. The 50 shows are being converted for online Internet distribution.

Always loyal to Marygrove, Nan conferred with former College President Jack Shea about the need to "make writing central to the curriculum at Marygrove." The Geschke's generosity brought a writing center to Marygrove. Recently renovated, it is now known as the Nancy A. McDonough Geschke Writing Center and is located in the lower level of the Liberal Arts building. The Center offers students individual help with assignments or tutoring in a beautiful setting that helps promote learning. Marygrove President, Dr. Elizabeth Burns is thrilled and said, "Nan always recognized that the ability to write well is absolutely essential to student success and we are deeply grateful for her generosity and tenacity to make the Nancy A. McDonough Geschke Writing Center an indispensable fixture at Marygrove."

In the early '90s, the Geschkes discovered the glories of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts and built a summer home there. Nan was recruited to the board of the Nantucket Atheneum, founded in 1834. She quickly realized that the library was in danger of collapse—both the crumbling 1847 building and the library's finances. She recruited new board members and a chairman, and hired an experienced librarian to revitalize operations. A capital campaign was launched to restore the building and establish an endowment. According to Nan's husband, "The pièce de résistance of her fundraising was to arrange an annual summer event that brings a one-ring, European-style circus to the island—a great financial success and a thrilling event for all the families on Nantucket." She also revived a dormant lecture series that brings speakers of national note to the library each summer.

Whenever Nan sees a need, she steps up to determine what can be done about it. A case in point: She discovered that some of the elderly residents of the Villa Siena retirement home operated by the Sisters of Charity outlived their resources. She joined the Villa's foundation board to help raise funds to continue their care.

After she began serving on the St. Nicholas parish council at the invitation of her pastor, Nan proposed and organized "Cultural Connections," a series of dinners with leaders of other faiths (Buddhists, Jews, Greek Orthodox) and ethnicities (Afghans, Japanese, Polish) to encourage cultural and religious exchanges in a social setting.

Nan is justifiably proud of her husband, three adult children, their spouses and seven grandchildren, and gathers them for Sunday dinner each weekend, a near sacred tradition. This woman who "loves a project" is captivated by challenge, hard work and achievement, according to her friend and former Marygrove classmate Jo Ann S. Hoffman '64.

Friends agree that the Geschkes are very much a team. Mrs. Hoffman says "together the Geschkes built and set a standard for an innovative, compassionate workplace and a socially responsible corporation—hallmark qualities which continue to define the business they founded: Adobe Systems Incorporated."

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Marygrove College 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

Bequest Language

"I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to Marygrove College [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

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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 Marygrove 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 Marygrove 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 Marygrove where you agree to make a gift to Marygrove 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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