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A Passion for the Band

Mike and Judy Pate

Chiefs is the largest collegiate marching band in the world, composed of students from almost every academic department within the university. The success of the Marching Chiefs is due, in part, to generous contributions from former members and alumni. Two such former members are Mike and Judy Pate. Mike, a 1968 graduate of the College of Business, met Judy, a 1967 graduate of the College of Music, during his undergraduate days at Florida State. That initial meeting was made possible because of their membership in the Marching Chiefs.

In addition to their generous contributions to the FSU Marching Chiefs, Mike and Judy helped co-found the FSU Band Alumni Association in 1970. Judy is still involved with the College of Music, and Mike is currently a member of the FSU Foundation Board of Trustees. Mike, a fourth-generation journalist, is also the former publisher of the Tallahassee Democrat. Presently, he serves as the Program Director for the Knight Foundation in Tallahassee, Fla.

Recently, Mike and Judy established a charitable remainder trust to benefit FSU. In talks with investment officers and the Office of Planned Giving at the FSU Foundation, they decided that the variable "unitrust" charitable remainder trust was the most attractive. It provides benefits to both them and FSU because of its tax benefits and return on investment. The charitable remainder trust allows for a return of income, either for a period of years or for the remainder of the donor's lifetime, and varies based on the amount of the principal, which is revalued annually.

In remembrance of how they met, Mike and Judy designated the proceeds of their charitable remainder trust for two student members of the FSU Marching Chiefs: one majoring in music and the other majoring in business. This gift ensures that future students will have the opportunity to follow in Mike and Judy's footsteps by pursuing a meaningful education and expressing a unique passion for music as members of the FSU Marching Chiefs.


A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Florida State University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Florida State University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Tallahassee, Florida, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to the FSU Foundation or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the FSU Foundation as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to the FSU Foundation as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and the FSU Foundation where you agree to make a gift to the FSU Foundation and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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