WMU News

Gifts total $1.9 million for September, October

Dec. 15, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- Gifts to the Western Michigan University Foundation for September and October totaled $1.9 million, including $625,000 for a memorial scholarship in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The two-month figure brings to $3.8 million the amount given to the WMU Foundation since the start of current fiscal year July 1. The gift total for September was $816,000 and for October the sum was $1.1 million.

"These gifts show clearly how donors with a commitment to higher education and a sense of its value can make a real difference in the lives of students and in the quality of Western Michigan University," says Bud Bender, associate vice president for development and secretary of the WMU Foundation.

Meanwhile, pledges to the foundation in September and October included $1 million from Borgess Health Alliance. The pledge is part of $14 million in local community support for the relocation of WMU's College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and its related business, research and technology park. That support was coordinated by Southwest Michigan First, a local private economic development organization.

In addition, the Louis Calder Foundation of New York pledged $250,000 to PTF 2000, the $5.75 million capital campaign of WMU's Paper Technology Foundation. The campaign has reached more than 90 percent of its goal.

The late Harold E. and Kathryn P. Knight of Copemish, Mich., have given the University $625,000 to create an endowed scholarship in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The scholarship, in honor of their late son, is called the Kenneth W. Knight Memorial Scholarship.

Harold Knight, a 1935 WMU graduate, retired in 1976 as assistant vice president of the commercial loan division of Associates Investment Co. in South Bend, Ind., where he had worked for 40 years. Kathryn Knight served for four years as a surgical nurse during World War II.

The Knights made their decision to establish the scholarship in 1983 as a bequest to the University. The couple died within a month of each other earlier this year. Kenneth Knight was their only child.

In other gifts, Dr. H. Nicholas Hamner of Kalamazoo, professor emeritus of history at WMU, has established a permanent endowment for the Department of History with a gift of $100,000. Hamner, a specialist in British history, retired in 1992. The fund is intended to bring to WMU outstanding historians to speak on topics of interest to students, faculty members and the larger community.

The Foundation of the Flexographic Technical Association in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., has given the University $50,000 to support the acquisition of a state-of-the-art flexographic printing press for the Department of Paper Science and Engineering. The remaining cost of the press, valued at $345,000, came from Flint Ink Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich. The press, which will enhance research efforts in the department, was dedicated in November.

A 1936 WMU graduate, Bonnie Ackley, has created a Medallion Scholarship with a gift of $32,000, an amount that covers the full cost of tuition and other expenses for its recipient. The scholarship is in her name and that of her late husband, H. Gardner Ackley, who also graduated in 1936. He gained fame as the chairperson of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson.

Another retired WMU faculty member, Dr. Phyllis Rappaport of Kalamazoo, has made a gift to the University. Rappaport, an highly accomplished concert pianist, has given WMU $30,662 to establish a scholarship in piano accompaniment, an often overlooked discipline that requires great skill. She retired in 1996 as professor emerita of music.

Gwenivere E. Rabe of Muskegon, Mich., a 1937 WMU graduate, has given the University $28,850 to support a scholarship in the natural or physical sciences at WMU. Rabe has said she wishes to help current students in the way she was helped with scholarship assistance to attend WMU during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The John Deere Foundation of Moline, Ill., has given $27,500 for the Integrated Supply Management Program in the Haworth College of Business. The gift includes $9,000 in scholarship support for the program, which is offered in cooperation with the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

The estate of long-time Kalamazoo clothier Stanley Weber continued its distribution of funds to the WMU Foundation with a gift of $25,000 from a total anticipated estate gift of $130,000. Weber, a 1950 WMU graduate in business, was president of Lew Hubbard Inc., which for many years was a well-known men's clothing store in Kalamazoo.

Dr. Susan M. Dick of Kingston, Ont., a 1959 graduate and a member of the first honors class at WMU, has established a $10,000 charitable gift annuity in support the Lee Honors College at WMU. Dick is a former faculty member at Queens College in Kingston, where she taught English for 26 years.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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