HSM's Legacy Circle
Our Legacy Circle was established in 2013 to recognize people who have included the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) in their wills, living trusts, and other estate-planning vehicles. We are grateful for gifts of all sizes—it is for everyone who values history. Even a small gift can make a big difference.
We thank those who have donated over many years to help expand HSM's programs and services. It makes sense to continue to support a cause you are passionate about. A Legacy Circle commitment has the advantage of not coming out of a person’s day-to-day cash flow, and yet it provides the gift of understanding history to future generations. It also may reduce tax liabilities.
Simply complete the form below to let us know that you have become a Legacy Circle member by remembering HSM in your estate plan. As you work out the details, we encourage you to consult with a financial advisor or estate-planning attorney to determine the best options for you.
"I want to help HSM flourish in the future. It’s important to me for these things to continue on after I’ve passed on. It’s a way of providing more fulfillment in my life. I believe it is extremely important for everyone to do some estate planning."
- Bob Cayia, Legacy Circle Member
Interested in Legacy Circle?
Whether you have questions, clarifications, or just a general interest in our program, we welcome you to fill out the interest form below. Our development team is happy to help you with your questions. Thank you for your interest!
Why should I help?
- Keep the Historical Society of Michigan financially independent and focused on its history education mission.
- Help offset expenses of the Michigan History Day® program for more than 5,000 students in grades 4 through 12.
- Support greater outreach through history education programs and services, such as the History Hounds® Lecture Series, History Skills Workshops, and Michigan History Alliance®.
- Promote continual improvement of our three annual history conferences.
- Salute active Michigan farms owned by the same family for 100 years or more as part of the Centennial Farm program.
- Position the Historical Society of Michigan to expand its history education programs into new areas.
- Supplement revenue from subscribers to keep our popular Michigan History magazine thriving.
- Remember and honor longtime businesses, organizations, and municipalities with Michigan Milestone Awards
- Set an example for others that it is important to plan for ongoing financial support for the causes you care about.
How do I help?
There are lots of ways to leave a legacy gift to HSM. Here are some examples of the most common ways to join the Legacy Circle:
- Bequest in will or trust
- Life insurance policy beneficiary
- Retirement fund [e.g., IRA, 401(k)] beneficiary
- Health Savings Account (HSA) beneficiary
- Gift of appreciated stock
- Gift of real estate (under certain conditions)
- Gift of artwork
- Designate a percentage of what is left in your estate to HSM
How will my gift be used?
That’s up to you. You can decide whether you want your planned gift to be:
- Unrestricted, which allows the Society to determine how best to use your gift at the time it is received
- Restricted, which means you have designated that your contribution benefit a specific program or purpose (such as our endowment fund)
Sample language for charitable bequests?
Bequests may be specific, proportional, or residual. Here is some sample language to share with your estate-planning advisor:
I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, the sum of $ _________ [or specific property]* to be used for its general purposes.
*To maximize tax savings, consider a gift of savings bonds, individual retirement accounts, or other tax-deferred retirement funds.
I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, _________% of my residuary estate to be used for its general purposes.
I give and bequeath to the Historical Society of Michigan (Fed. ID. #38-1452689), 7435 Westshire Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate to be used for its general purposes.
Can I get more information?
From Our Legacy Circle Members
“Being an avid historian all my life, I thought why not designate the HSM as one of my beneficiaries? Thus, I have done so… I have always enjoyed and loved history…”
“It is important that history keep going. Knowing our roots is important to knowing who you are today and providing a key to the past for future generations.”
Frank and Judy Wilhelme
“We want the HSM to be here another 100 years on top of its nearly 200 years of existence already…The endowment is kind of a ballast in your ship as you chart the course for the future of a nonprofit organization.”
Members of HSM’s Legacy Circle
Floyd Andrick of Midland, MI
Robert L. and Patricia A. Brown of Battle Creek, MI
Virginia Paganelli Caruso and Phillip Caruso, Plainwell, MI
Robert Cayia of Valparaiso, IN
Ralph G. Coulter of Flint, MI*
Jack and Clarice Engelhart of Clio, MI
Gaylor W. Forman, of Bloomfield Township*
Karolena Fox of La Jolla, CA*
Katharine B. and Charles V. Hagler of Ann Arbor, MI*
Edith V. Heusel of Ann Arbor, MI*
Gary and Carol Higgins of Corunna, MI
Diana Hunter of Grand Rapids, MI
Florence Jackson of Grand Ledge, MI*
Maxine S. Lahti of Chelsea, MI*
John Mendler and Janet Nellis Mendler of Pinckney, MI*
Herman L. Miller of Ann Arbor, MI*
Mildred N. Nelson of Grand Rapids, MI*
Gerald Nyquist of Macomb Township, MI
Jeff Offenhauser, Traverse City, MI
Jean Ann Olsen of Stambaugh, MI*
Joseph F. Perisa of Flint, MI*
Merle G. Perry Jr. of Flint, MI*
Albert A. Preston of Grand Rapids, MI*
Deborah Remer of Shelby Township, MI
Monika Richter of Warren, MI*
Phyllis E. Robertson of Blissfield, MI*
Richard and Ruth Santer of Grand Rapids, MI
Judy Siess, Rochester Hills, MI*
Joseph Taylor, M.D. of Grand Rapids, MI
David Trebing of Okemos, MI, and Washington, D.C.
Scott and Amy Prudden Turner of Greenwich, CT*
Dr. and Mrs. James K. Watkins of Grand Rapids, MI
Frank and Judy Wilhelme of Ann Arbor, MI
Kendall and Molly Wingrove of Okemos, MI
Anonymous, Beverly Hills, MI
Anonymous, Kalamazoo, MI
Updated May 17, 2022