A rousing chorus of brass, percussion and wind instruments served as background music for Mike and Nancy Berry's first meeting.
Both joined the band as undergraduates at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
"I was a drummer for four years, and Nancy played clarinet," Mike says. "We had our first date at Jimmy Carter's inauguration in Washington when we were traveling there to march in the inauguration."
But Mike's business career would take him far from the turf of Neyland Stadium. After he graduated from the Haslam College of Business and Nancy received a degree in education, the couple returned to Mike's hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee.
"I interned at Eastman Chemical Corporation during college, and they hired me as a new graduate," he says. "They knew me and I knew them, so it was a natural fit."
Thirty-eight years later, Mike serves as vice president, global procurement and chief procurement officer at Eastman Chemical, overseeing employees in 15 countries around the world. His work regularly takes him to Asia and Europe.
"I've worked in various areas at Eastman, with an emphasis in the supply chain and procurement business areas," Mike says. "Nancy and I lived in Switzerland for two years in the mid-1990s, where I managed the supply chain for Europe, the Middle East and Africa."
The international flavor of Mike's job enhanced the family's experiences. Nancy recalls the challenges of moving to Zug, Switzerland, with their two young daughters. "That was a learning experience—to live in another country and try to do your day-to- day tasks when you didn't speak the language," she says. "It was a great adventure."
Nancy interrupted her career as an educator to accommodate the family's time overseas. "I took a break when we went to Switzerland, and when I came back, I returned to the same school," she says. "Four years ago, I retired after 27 years as an elementary teacher."
Fueled by positive memories of their undergraduate years, Mike and Nancy have remained engaged with UT. Nancy served on the UT Women's Council, while Mike was on the UT Board of Governors from 1990–91 and has served as president of the Kingsport/Sullivan county chapter. Mike is currently on the Alumni Legislative Council and the Campaign Steering Committee at the Haslam College of Business.
Early in his career, Mike recognized the value of his education.
"At UT, I learned the importance of leadership skills, attention to detail, working as part of a team, accountability, discipline and time management," says Mike. "Our band director, Dr. WJ Julian, had a military-like style of teaching and a way of keeping us on our toes."
Eager to assist the college that had given him the tools he needed for a successful career, Mike began a long-standing tradition of giving.
"It's a mentality that you owe something back to the community that got you started," Mike explains. "For us, that idea has continued to grow over the years."
In 2014, the Berrys took their giving a step further by establishing the Mike and Nancy Berry Endowed Business Scholarship for Haslam students who are Pride of the Southland Band members.
"Because we were both in band, we know what it's like for students to balance those time commitments with requirements in their major," says Mike. "We wanted to reach out and marry the marching band and the Haslam College of Business."
Support Future Students
Learn how you can make a gift to support future generations of students at University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Contact the Office of Planned Giving at (865) 974-4826 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes include federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results. Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to The University Of Tennessee 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, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to The University Of Tennessee [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 UT 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 UT as a lump sum.
You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 UT 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 UT where you agree to make a gift to UT 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.