Leaving a Legacy
Nov. 28, 2022
By Emily Geris
Meet Jerry & Joyce Hansen, the Newest Members of the Knute Nelson Legacy Society
Philanthropy has been an integral part of Knute Nelson since our beginning – starting with a bequest in 1948 by late U.S. Senator and Governor of Minnesota, Knute Nelson. Today, philanthropy continues to help fund innovative enhancements throughout Knute Nelson’s continuum of care and ensures that seniors and their family members have access to affordable, quality health care. When a donor leaves a legacy gift they name that organization as part of their family, making legacy gifts incredibly special and meaningful.
Jerry Hansen’s involvement began in 2005 when he began serving on the Knute Nelson Corporate Board. After six years of service, he transitioned to the Knute Nelson Foundation Board in 2012. Jerry also served as co-chair of the Dimensions Capital Campaign that raised $3.2 million, including a donation of land on which the Grand Arbor campus would be built. He continues to serve on the Foundation Board and provided leadership as the chair from 2018-2020.
In addition, Joyce Hansen’s sister – Jan Thue – made the Knute Nelson Care Center her home for a year as she was being served for rehabilitation needs.
In early 2022, Jerry and Joyce took their generosity and support one step further by making a legacy gift to the Knute Nelson Foundation.
The Knute Nelson Legacy Society recognizes donors who have named the Foundation in their estate plans. The Legacy Society was created to honor those that have taken their commitment beyond the ordinary and have made planned arrangements to help sustain Knute Nelson’s mission of enriching lives far into the future.
Knute Nelson has a set of unique core competencies that Jerry and Joyce have seen in action in all Knute Nelson does, which drew them in closer and inspired their legacy gift to the Foundation.
- Organizational Learning
- Leading With Innovation
- Community-Based & Locally Governed
- Mission Driven, Quality Care
Choosing to make a charitable gift of any kind is a deeply personal decision. Knute Nelson’s core competencies align with Jerry and Joyce’s personal values. This inspired confidence in Jerry and Joyce that the Knute Nelson Foundation would carry out their vision beyond their lifetime. Ultimately, a legacy gift to the Knute Nelson Foundation connects Jerry and Joyce’s passion with a deep purpose and allows them to support the people coming after them.
“Both Jerry and I were raised in small farm communities in North Dakota,” says Joyce. “Everybody knew what everybody else was doing. We were all cared for by everybody in the community. I would like to give back as a way to say thank you for the way we were able to grow up.”
“I believe in Knute Nelson greatly,” says Jerry. “I've come to appreciate what this organization stands for, and the good that it does for people, especially our senior population. I think that the staff is very forward thinking, and I like that. We need to continue to look ahead and support people coming after us. And so that's why Joyce and I have decided to make a legacy gift to the Knute Nelson Foundation.”