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While many financial gifts are made in support of Graland’s annual fund, a specific capital project or endowment campaign, some gifts are made as bequests. These bequests, or planned gifts, are made by individuals who believe so strongly in the mission of the school that they include a gift to Graland in their estate plans. Our last few donor stories shared the impact of planned gifts received recently. Below, three Montem Society members share their thoughts about the motivation and process for making this kind of long-range gift:

  • Ronni McCaffrey, who is Graland’s Head of School Emerita, and her wife, b Frank
  • Jennifer Person ’94 Barker, who is a current parent and alumna, and her husband, Shawn Barker
  • Jim Arneill ’66, who is an alumnus and member of the Graland Alumni Board

We are grateful to all for sharing their insights and allowing us a chance to thank them now for their future gifts.

Why did you choose to include Graland in your estate plans?

Ronni and b: We give to Graland because we believe in its mission. We believe in Denver and this community, and we believe we are making a sound investment in the future leaders of this region and our country.

Jennifer and Shawn: As an alumna and current parent, it is important for us to leave a legacy to Graland that other families will benefit from well after we are gone. Graland played a significant role in making me who I am today as an individual and steward of the community. This gift reflects our deep appreciation for my experiences and those of my daughter and helps to ensure that future students will also benefit from their time at Graland.

Jim: Graland has played a very important part in my life as well as in my family's. When Graland was first incorporated in 1927, the charter showed that my great-grandparents were patrons, and a few years later they sent their grandchildren to Graland. Besides my father, uncle and their cousin attending Graland in the 1930s, my sister and I received an outstanding well-rounded education there in the 1950s and 1960s. I am hoping that Graland will be in my grandson's future as he nears school age.

Jim Arneill with his grandson

Jim Arneill '66 and his grandson

Why might others consider making a gift in this way?

Ronni and b: There are so many different ways to make a planned gift. We chose to name the school as a beneficiary of one of our retirement plans. It was so easy!

Jennifer and Shawn: This is a very personal decision, but not a hard one for us to make or execute on. We’ve made the decision now, and feel good knowing that we have provided a gift to the school for its future. Although we personally won’t see the impact of this gift, we know it will be in good hands at Graland.

Jim: Over the course of a lifetime, it seems fitting to leave behind some resources that will give practical assistance to the school as well as to signify the important influence that Graland has made on me and my family.

Jennifer and Shawn

Jennifer Person ’94 Barker and her husband, Shawn

What does this gift mean to you?

Jim: I feel very pleased that my gift can support the future of Graland to help maintain its reputation and the high standards it has set since its inception. I have been fortunate to substitute teach at Graland since 2004 after retiring from a 30-year educational career, and I have seen firsthand the type of school day students experience that prepares them so well for the future.

Jennifer and Shawn: We’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the community, whether that be financially or through our service on nonprofit boards. Graland has given so much to our family, and we hope that this gift can serve as a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Ronni McCaffrey and B. Frank

Ronni McCaffrey and b Frank

Ronni and b chose to direct their gift in a way that will continue to support the school in perpetuity. “Graland would not be the wonderful school that it is without the teachers. Our gifts are directed to support Graland’s teachers in perpetuity. We made sure that the school has the proper documentation so that our gift will be used to support the Early Childhood Learning Center, and that feels good!”

To learn more about the many ways you can make an impact at Graland, contact Jessica Goski at or 303-336-3705.