Passmore Continues his Father’s Tradition

Jan Passmore's father didn't necessarily have the means to give a great deal of money to those in need, but he did possess an inspiring spirit of philanthropy that remains his lasting legacy.

"My dad's favorite phrase was, ‘Contributions to others and organizations are dues we pay for the space we take up,'" said Passmore, noting that his father lived during the Great Depression and always gave as much as he could of his time, talent, and money to help those less fortunate. "I've always taken that as a legacy, and it has richly blessed my life."

And Passmore has been blessed. The 1964 Ball State physical education graduate, turned successful businessman and author, has enjoyed a lucrative career in the insurance, finance, and real estate industries. His career path has led him to senior management positions in insurance companies, brokerage firms, and Fortune 500 companies on the East Coast, West Coast, and in the Midwest.

He has also served in leadership positions as volunteer for about 20 nonprofit organizations during his lifetime. And when Passmore moved back to the Midwest, he lent his expertise to high profile Ball State programs—serving as the first president of the Miller College of Business Insurance Advisory Board and an ongoing presenter for Dialogue Days, an initiative of the Miller College of Business Alumni Board to connect students with alumni professionals to interact, share business experience and expertise, and provide students with an opportunity to engage in a dialogue with successful alumni.

"I've always strove to be a good mentor, because I've been fortunate to have had many great mentors along the way," said Passmore, a recipient of the Miller College of Business Achievement Award in 2000.

In 1996, during the Commitment to Achievement campaign to raise funds for the Ball State Alumni Center, Passmore found a way to fulfill his father's legacy of giving and provide a substantial gift for his alma mater.

He used appreciated stock from one of his Fortune 500 companies to create a 10-year charitable remainder unitrust, with the remainder going to the Alumni Center fund in 2006. As part of his pledge agreement, a room in the Alumni Center is dedicated to the memory of Dr. and Mrs. Gale Orth Passmore. The Alumni Center hosts about 825 functions per year.

"This was a win-win situation," said Passmore, who also received income from the trust during the 10-year period, an immediate charitable tax deduction, a reduction in estate and gift taxes, and realized no capital gains tax on the sale of the stock.

"My parents were my teachers and mentors, and Ball State was a school that taught me how to learn throughout my life. It's great to be able to pay tribute to both," he said.

Passmore is semiretired and resides in Richmond, Indiana, with his wife, Pam, who also attended Ball State. He is currently working as a consultant. He is the author of A Heartbeat Away: The Historical Significance of the Office of Vice President of the United States, which traces the historical significance of the office of vice president and the men who have served in that capacity.

Learn more about charitable remainder trusts.