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Noll Thanks MSU With Generous Planned Gift

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You might say that Steven H. Noll?s relationship with Michigan State University has come full circle. As a student, he took full advantage of every learning and cultural opportunity available to him. He translated those experiences into a successful career. Now, he has made generous financial contributions to MSU so that other students may achieve similar results.

It would be inaccurate and perhaps unfair to call his recent cumulative $4.18 million charitable bequest part of a "typical" MSU story. Yet to hear Steve tell it, his gifts to MSU are as much a thank you as they are a generous investment in the university?s future.

"My primary reason for making a planned gift to MSU is to assist in ensuring that the wonderful education that I received at MSU continues to be offered and encouraged," Steve said. "I consider the most valuable aspect of my MSU education to be the many classes in different areas of interest that are accessible to all MSU students, and I want to encourage current students to take full advantage of the opportunities that are available to take classes outside of those required in their majors."

Of his total charitable bequest through his will, $2.7 million will be dedicated to the creation of an endowed discretionary fund in the College of Engineering to be known as the Steven H. Noll Dean?s Fund for Quality, Excellence & Opportunity in Engineering. Steve (Engineering, ?74; Honors College) understands that unrestricted endowment funds are a powerful tool in enabling the college to act flexibly.

"The College of Engineering provided me with first-rate technical knowledge and skills for the profession of engineering, but it is a tribute to the way those subjects were taught at MSU that when I decided to attend law school to pursue a career in patent law, I didn?t experience any disadvantage compared to other law students who took more traditional pre-law undergraduate curricula," Steve said. "The College of Engineering first and foremost taught me how to solve problems as well as to expect that I would be able to solve such problems, and that way of thinking has had great benefits in most endeavors I?ve undertaken, regardless of whether they were related to engineering."

Steve?s well rounded education at MSU included four years in the Spartan Marching Band, classes in many subjects outside of his major, and enjoyment of the museums, concerts, speakers and other non-classroom events that enhance the MSU experience. The diversity of his experiences is reflected in the choice of designations for his planned gift.

Steve has also committed to giving his collection of prints - currently valued at $1.1 million - to the Kresge Art Museum (KAM) on campus as well as designating $300,000 of his total bequest to create an endowed fund to benefit the Spartan Marching Band. The Marching Band fund will cover travel expenses for away games and performances for audiences outside of East Lansing. The collection of prints for KAM (etchings, engravings, and lithographs by artists such as Whistler, Rembrandt, Durer, Renoir and others) will eventually be accessible to the public for viewing, furthering KAM?s mission to be a teaching museum.

"My four-year participation in the Spartan Marching Band and Spartan Brass is one of the great experiences of my life and a source of some of my best memories," Steve recalled. "I am also hopeful that the new building complex for KAM, for which fundraising is currently in progress, will soon be a reality and I will be proud to have KAM and MSU as the home for my collection."

Since graduating, Steve has served as a member of the College of Engineering Alumni Board, has been a guest lecturer in Engineering and a generous donor to Engineering and KAM. Now, after committing to this tremendous, thoughtful and heartfelt future gift, Steve hopes others do the same.

"I hope that other graduates who read this will be reminded of the importance that MSU has had in our lives and realize that we were the beneficiaries of commitments that others made to create and sustain the educational opportunities and facilities at MSU," he said. "Any contribution one can make to assist in the future of MSU is a great way to say thanks for what MSU has given to us."

If you would like more information on establishing a planned gift or making any type of contribution to the College of Engineering, Kresge Art Museum, the Spartan Marching Band or another area of MSU dear to you, contact the College of Engineering?s Senior Director of Development Kris Bradley at (517) 355-8339 or the College of Arts & Letters Director of Development Kristin Peterson at (517) 353-4725.