No restrictions, only opportunities

James Haffenden
James Haffenden

As a young man in Battle Creek, MI, James Haffenden bought stock in a company because a neighbor was then its chief executive officer. Several decades later, he attended a DMU-sponsored session on planned giving techniques, held in conjunction with a Michigan Osteopathic Association conference.

“By that time, that stock he held in Kellogg’s had increased significantly in value,” says Johnne Syverson, CFP, president of the financial planning firm Syverson Strege and Co. and the presenter of that planned giving session.

“Dr. Haffenden also wanted to do something special for DMU in celebration of his upcoming 50-year reunion.”

The 1952 graduate of DMU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and longtime Battle Creek physician achieved that goal and some financial ones with a charitable remainder trust. Putting the stock in the trust allowed it to be sold without his incurring capital gains tax. The trust then generated quarterly income for Dr. Haffenden and his family. And after he died on March 14, 2014, the remaining interest in the trust – nearly $344,500 – came to DMU.

“Dr. Haffenden wanted there to be no restrictions on how the University could use his gift,” Syverson says. That will allow DMU to meet critical needs and pursue special opportunities to benefit students. “He was always grateful for the education he received from DMU, which allowed him to holistically serve his patients with competence and integrity.”

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