April 8, 2011
by Jeanie Croope
David Brown (’78, ’83, Communication Arts and Sciences) remembers an evening in the 1980s when he stood before live television cameras in WKAR’s studio and, with great aplomb, auctioned off a vasectomy donated by a local urologist to the public television station’s fundraising auction.
It was, he recalls, an “awkward but humorous moment,” and one of the joys of doing live television when anything can happen.
For more than 20 years, Brown, assistant director for Alumni Engagement for the MSU Alumni Association, has brought his rich, melodious voice to WKAR as a volunteer. He is often heard during radio and television membership campaigns, asking viewers and listeners to make a financial commitment to the television or radio station.
Dave not only “talks the talk,” but walks the walk as well. He recently made WKAR a beneficiary of part of his personal estate plan. The endowment will be used to support WKAR at the discretion of the director of Broadcasting Services with preference given to community outreach, technology improvements and challenge grants during pledge drives. The estimated future gift will be over $200,000 once the gift is realized, and is expected to grow over time.
“It is my hope this will offer the station flexibility for its community outreach efforts,” he said.
The transition to a digital media environment has allowed WKAR to significantly expand its commitment to outreach and community engagement.
Susi Elkins, WKAR’s Content and Community Engagement manager said, “It’s imperative that our content reflect the needs and interests of our community. Gifts like Dave Brown’s help us dedicate significant resources to directly interacting with the communities we serve.”
Dave’s affiliation with WKAR is a long one, going back to his days as a student in Justin Morrill College in the early 1970s. He worked as a production student at the station long before he took on a role as a volunteer.
Most individuals considering their estate plan know many organizations would welcome their gift. Dave had several reasons that led him toward WKAR. “Radio and television has been an important part of my life for many years as a volunteer, consumer of programming and as a community presence. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with the great staff of television and radio,” he said.
But there was another reason that tipped Dave toward supporting WKAR over other university programs. “Someone considering giving money to MSU has many fine choices and many fine opportunities,” he concedes. “A great number of these choices are already well funded. I would encourage anyone giving money to choose something with a need and that reinforces the university’s outreach commitment.”
For more information on endowment or planned gift options for WKAR, contact Development Director Cindy Herfindahl at (517) 432-3120, or email@example.com.