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Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University Make a Difference Giving to Michigan State University

A storied career and a passion for living

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Living a robust life is what it’s all about for Bob Parenti (’51, Detroit College of Law). Giving back to MSU College of Law through a charitable gift annuity is his way of helping other veterans pursue law degrees.
Multi-faceted, Parenti is a romantic at heart who also enjoys writing.  His book A Story of Love and War portrays his experience as a World War II soldier through the letters he sent to Laurie, his girlfriend who became his wife in 1946.
Unbeknownst to him, she had kept those letters safely tucked away in a large box, which he found in 2001. He realized his letters held interest, reporting on his life as a soldier and providing a diversion from the daily grind and horrors of war.
“I had the luck of the soldier,” Parenti said. “I was lucky to have survived the war.”
Parenti has contributed the proceeds of the book, now also a 30-minute documentary, to war memorial initiatives in public parks.
In a similar spirit, the Parentis’ future gift to the MSU College of Law will provide financial assistance for students who are veterans. Their gift is set up as a one life charitable gift annuity, providing Laurie with a fixed and guaranteed stream of income for the rest of her life.  At Laurie’s death, the balance of the gift will be directed to the MSU College of Law for the veteran’s clinic program.  Charitable gift annuities qualify for a tax deduction in the year in which the gift annuity is established and much of the annual income may be received tax-free.
Parenti worked in private practice in Michigan for 30 years and for five years in Florida. He capped his career by joining forces with Willie Gary, senior partner of Gary, Williams, Finney, et al, becoming the first Caucasian partner in a leading African-American firm. 
Parenti is now counsel at the Gary law firm, assessing the merits of new cases. His newest book,  Giant Killers, details some of the firm’s cases; among them a $500 million-verdict against a Canadian conglomerate attempting to monopolize the funeral home business in Mississippi, and the family of baseball legend Roger Maris’s case against Anheuser-Busch, Inc. for breach of contract over a lucrative Budweiser beer distributorship.
In their 63 years of marriage, the Parentis have raised three accomplished children and have three grandchildren.  At age 84, Bob still relishes being a go-getter with a sharp lawyer’s mind who follows his interests and cherishes his marriage to Laurie – “the love of my life.”  Some might call it luck, but others know such luck sure takes a lot of effort.
For more information on making a gift to the MSU College of Law, contact Director of Development Tina Casoli at (517) 432-6842;