Joe ’63 and Nancy ’63 Braucher

1 August 2023
Joseph and Nancy Braucher

From the moment they first arrived at Carleton, Nancy Braucher says, she and her future husband Joe understood that the college would be in their lives forever.

“When we started, President Gould said Carleton would always be a part of us,” Nancy said. “It planted the notion very early that part of what you would do is give back to Carleton.”

Thanks to that sense of belonging, and because they are passionate about education, the Brauchers have consistently given to Carleton throughout the years. But perhaps their most significant contribution has been the gift of their beloved vacation home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The vacation home has given the couple wonderful memories over the years, Nancy says, and remained comforting and constant even as their lives changed. They raised two daughters, saw them leave home, advanced their careers (both Joe and Nancy went on to earn MBAs), welcomed grandchildren into their lives, retired, and moved from Illinois to Arizona.

And still, Nancy says, she started thinking about leaving their cherished place to Carleton a long time ago. She and Joe had been learning about deferred giving options and the Heywood Society, and their 50th reunion prompted them to start the process. “We thought it was the right thing to do,” Joe said. “Supporting the liberal arts is very important to us.”

The home has meant many things to the couple: woods, water, and fishing for Joe, and beautiful, sunny days for Nancy. They’ve hosted countless friends and watched their children and grandchildren soak up the outdoors. But, Joe says, it’s time to move on. The place requires a lot of love and care, and their two daughters agree that neither of them is in a position to keep it. So they decided to combine two places that hold special places in their hearts: their vacation home and their alma mater.

This type of gift allowed them to donate their property now, receive a tax deduction, and still enjoy their property while planning for a simpler life. They arranged for a four-year term, when ownership will transfer to Carleton outright and their gift will go to work. They hope it will support Carleton’s Career Center initiatives because “in today’s world, it’s important that students have some grip on where they may be going,” Nancy said. “It’s a win-win for everybody,” Joe said. “It’s a marvelous way to contribute to Carleton. To anyone who hasn’t joined the Heywood Society yet, I’d say, ‘What are you waiting for? Just do it!’