WMU News

Gifts to WMU Foundation total $2.3 million

April 23, 1999

KALAMAZOO--Gifts to the Western Michigan University Foundation totaled nearly $2.3 million in January, February and March of this year, according to a report presented April 23 to the WMU Board of Trustees.

The foundation reported receiving $2,064,367 in cash and deferred gifts for the three-month period as well as non-cash gifts totaling $267,853. This brings to $9,035,689 the amount given to the foundation since the current fiscal year began July 1, an increase of $2,701,834 over last year at this time.

"This increase is due in part to a significant cash gift from the Dorotha Kercher estate and an anonymous gift of $1 million for a permanent endowment to support international study at WMU," said Bud Bender, associate vice president for development. "Details of the endowment are still being worked out."

The gift from the estate of Dorotha Kercher, who retired as an assistant professor in the WMU Libraries in 1976, is for $199,983. Her husband, the late Dr. Leonard Kercher, was founder and first chairperson of WMU's Department of Sociology.

The gift will be used for a permanent endowment fund in her name for the libraries to acquire materials for international and area studies, with an emphasis on developing countries. The gift is part of a bequest totaling more than $1 million.

Two gifts of $50,000 each were included in the report. One is a partial distribution from the estate of Stanley Weber for a fund permanently endowed in his name in the Haworth College of Business. Weber, a 1950 WMU graduate in business administration, was president of Lew Hubbard Inc., a well-known men's clothing store in Kalamazoo for many years. He died in December 1998.

The other $50,000 gift comes from Dr. V. Clayton Sherman of Palatine, Ill., for the June M. Sherman NOLA Scholarships Endowment in the WMU School of Nursing. This gift is the balance to fund fully the permanent endowment at $100,000. The fund, which was previously announced, honors June M. Sherman, Clayton Sherman's mother, and his late sister, Nola Benson.

June Sherman was director of volunteer services at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital for many years, where she coordinated the work of more than 1,800 volunteers. It was one of the largest volunteer forces ever to serve a health facility. WMU's interfaith chapel on the former KPH property is named for her.

The Alma S. Boughey estate has given the foundation $20,000 for a permanent scholarship endowment in her name in the Department of Occupational Therapy. Boughey, a 1953 WMU graduate in occupational therapy from Albuquerque, N.M., died in October of last year. Gifts from her estate to the scholarship fund total $40,000.

The Caroll J. Haas Foundation of Mendon, Mich., made a gift to the foundation of $20,000 for a Music Therapy and Pulmonary Research Fund for expiratory therapy in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Haas is the former chairman of Colonial Engineering in Kalamazoo, a privately held $20 million international company that manufactures a full line of plastic fittings. The fund supports research on the use of wind instruments in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Media contact: Mike Matthews, 616 387-8400, michael.matthews@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400