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Art, music, life: The Legacy of the Hollanders

By Lois Furry

Selma Hollander

In a typical week, Selma Hollander can be found applauding a breathtaking chamber music performance among a capacity audience; contemplating a mind-expanding art exhibition; taking a front row seat for a master performance by a Metropolitan Opera singer; or savoring rare literature expertly preserved in a distinguished collection. And she does it all right on the MSU campus. Not bad for a woman in her 90s, she notes, adding that Michigan State’s commitment to the arts has provided her with a rich life for more than 50 years. “To me, the arts are one of the basic elements in life,” she said. “Like food, water and shelter.”

Selma, a member of MSU’s Kedzie donor society, recently added significantly to a legacy of giving to areas of MSU she is passionate about with charitable gift annuities that will benefit the College of Music, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum and Special Collections at the MSU Libraries.

Selma and Stanley Hollander joined the MSU community in 1958. Stanley, who passed in 2004, was a University Distinguished professor in the Eli Broad College of Business, and Selma became an alumna of the College of Arts and Letters. She later joined the Home Economics faculty, teaching weaving, crafts and fabric design and exhibited regionally as an artist. From day one, the Hollanders were heavy users of the libraries and enthusiastic supporters of the arts.

Over the years, they established numerous endowments to honor Professor Hollander’s devotion to the MSU Libraries and the couple’s dedication to literature, arts and music. “We had an incredible life because we were involved with the arts,” Selma said. “Everybody works hard and you need a balance. We’ve got it all right here at MSU. The quality is second-to-none and it is all very affordable.”

Selma found the option of a charitable gift annuity to be an excellent investment not only for the future benefit of the arts at MSU, but also for her current needs. Her charitable gift annuities provide Selma with a fixed and guaranteed income for the rest of her life, one that she was pleased to learn not only offers higher rates of return than she might receive from other fixed income investment vehicles, but also included tax benefits. A charitable federal tax deduction may be claimed and a portion of the income can be received tax-free. All gift annuity contracts are guaranteed by over $400 million of unrestricted assets of the MSU Foundation and the annuity rate depends solely on the age of the beneficiary(ies).

Her recent gift will add to two endowments already established; one supports the acquisition, preservation and access of important rare books of literature, music and art in the MSU Libraries Special Collections; the other supports chamber music in the College of Music in honor of Jim Forger, Dean. She also created a new endowment to support piano scholarship in the college in honor of Professor Deborah Moriarty as well as a second new endowment to create a distinguished lecture series at the Broad Art Museum, slated to open in 2012.

For more information on making a future gift to MSU, contact the Development officer for the college or unit you are interested in supporting, or call the MSU Office of Gift Planning at (517) 884-1068.