Planned Giving

Gift of Stock Helps Jerry Gibbs Fulfill His Vow of Helping Poor Kids Go to College

Photo of Jerry Gibbs
Jerry Gibbs

During a UT summer internship, Jerry Gibbs (CASNR ’68, COB ’75) drove daily through the poor sections of Chicago—and vowed that someday he would help underprivileged children get an education. Now the president and CEO of Big R Stores is fulfilling that vow through his many gifts to the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA), including a tax-wise gift of appreciated stock.

“Following my freshman year, I was fortunate to get an internship with (food manufacturer) Libby, McNeill and Libby in Chicago,” Jerry recalled. “Every day as we drove by the tenement buildings to get to the plant, I could see children who were trapped by their circumstances. I knew, even then as a nineteen-year-old, that education was the key to bettering your circumstances. I vowed then to help kids with financial need to get an education if I was ever in a position to do so.”

Jerry earned a bachelor of science degree in food science and technology from UT’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in 1968, working his way through school and graduating in three and a half years with zero debt.

“I was able to use what I learned at UT to build my business from a small family business to what it is today,” Jerry said. “I was the first person in my family to graduate college, and I have seen firsthand what a quality education can do.”

In addition to his annual giving, Jerry has made gifts to UTIA using cash, stock, and the IRA charitable rollover—plus a bequest in his will and a life insurance beneficiary designation.

“I had bank stock with a low cost basis, which for many years I needed as collateral to grow my business,” he explains. “But as my business grew I no longer needed it for that purpose, and I was able to give it to UT to fund my endowments—while avoiding the capital gain and receiving an income-tax deduction.”


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