Planning for your Future

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Diane '81 and Craig '80 Holmes – Making Trust Plans to Benefit Michigan Tech

Diane '81 and Craig '80 Holmes – Making Trust Plans to Benefit Michigan Tech

Choosing to make Michigan Tech a beneficiary of your estate is a great way to support the University without changing your day-to-day finances. There are many vehicles that allow flexibility for you to make a planned gift to benefit Tech.

Diane (Bier) and Craig Holmes recently settled on a specific way to give to Tech after realizing the original plans for their trust were difficult to implement. They chose to make Michigan Tech the beneficiary of their primary residence through a Lady Bird deed.

"Your trust is only as good as the ability to execute it in the time frame and manner that you have planned in your mind," they said. "Segregating our property from our other assets turned out to be an easy way to accomplish what we were looking to do in terms of execution and simplification."

Diane '81 and Craig '80 each earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Tech. Their substantial gift will primarily support scholarships within the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Other parts of their gift will benefit the University's Husky Emergency Assistance Fund and CEE's involvement in intercollegiate competitions such as Concrete Canoe.

Diane, whose father is a Tech alumnus, began attending summer youth programs at MTU while in high school. She began her career designing railroad bridges but found herself working in technical sales and marketing in the field of environmental groundwater and soil remediation.

"The impact of Tech started on day one," she said. "Being a woman in a male-oriented field, I felt full acceptance at Tech, and it taught me how to think things through. Even when I was in technical sales and marketing, I never stopped being an engineer."

Craig, who grew up near Lansing, Michigan, credited his high school physics teacher for pointing him to Houghton. Once on campus, he knew that the remoteness of Houghton would allow him to work hard as a student. Craig spent his entire career working in risk management/risk mitigation and control, culminating with starting his own company in 2004. He was inducted into the CEE Academy in 2019.

"Tech provided me a credential that was never questioned," he said. "Within my field, Michigan Tech was known. Not everybody had that. My background at Tech helped me understand the technical concepts I needed to know to bear down and solve problems."

Both retired, Diane and Craig hope to give others the same solid foundation they had through their Michigan Tech education.

"With all that's going on in the world right now, it was a good opportunity to take stock in what matters," they said. "There's no organization that's given more to us and no other place that can do the amount of good in one fell swoop as Tech."

The planned gift is just one part of Diane and Craig's contribution to Michigan Tech. They helped MTU with development of its original FEMA All Hazards Mitigation Plan. More recently, they've been active in trying to draw CEE Academy members back to campus for mentoring and other activities.

"Science and engineering are where the future is," they said. "Tech graduates have an automatic grasp of leadership and the need for it. Someone has to take charge and get to work solving problems."

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