Alumna plans $1.1 million gift to Manchester University

Aug 14, 2023, 09:21 AM by Chloe Leckrone
Michele Piller, a 1979 graduate who devoted her career to helping others, considers her time at Manchester a “transformative experience,” and is giving back to her alma mater with a $1.1 million planned gift.

Michele Piller, a 1979 graduate, considers her time at Manchester a “transformative experience,” and has planned a $1.1 million gift to her alma mater. 

Piller spent the first few years of her career as an attorney before becoming executive director of Plumas Rural Services. The Northeastern California community-based nonprofit provides services and opportunities for the well-being of local residents and families to improve quality of life and self-sufficiency by promoting health, education, prevention and treatment. 

Her career was devoted to helping others, and now she is giving back to Manchester. 

“I received a good, well-rounded liberal arts education, something I would not have received at a larger university," she said. "With no children, my husband, David Greene, and I decided Manchester was a good place to receive our bequests." 

The planned gift is undesignated, which means there are no specific instructions for how it should be used, but her hope is for it to benefit the University and its students. 

“We are extremely humbled by their altruism. Michele embodies our mission statement of graduating students of ability and conviction,” said Melanie Harmon, vice president for advancement. “This generous gift ensures that we can continue providing transformative experiences similar to the many Piller had.” 

The opportunities Manchester provided Piller changed her life and fostered a lifelong passion for traveling.

“My three January trips included going to Colombia with Professor Ken Brown, the Soviet Union with Professor Jim Bishop and West Africa with Professor David Waas,” Piller said. “Thank you, Manchester, for these magical experiences.” 

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