Enriching Future Lives
For Jim and Gwen Fountain, both members of the Class of '68, attending Kalamazoo College "provided a foundation for furthering our educations," Jim says.
"I remember working extremely hard," he says, having spent the winter quarter of his senior year at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences completing his thesis studying enzyme structures in the liver. After K, Jim earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan and became a professor and retinal surgeon.
"I enjoyed the breadth and depth of the education at K," Gwen says. Both of them also studied abroad in Germany, and Gwen spent her career service quarter in Washington, D.C., as an economic assistant for the Bureau of Public Roads. Gwen later earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Michigan and worked as a professor and administrator.
"Our education at K enriched our lives," Gwen says. "We believe in K and want to give back to the institution that supported us." Gwen and Jim created a bequest in their living trust that will support the College endowment in the long term as part of The Campaign for Kalamazoo College. "We want to make sure the College endures and survives," Jim says.
As an additional part of their support to the campaign, Jim and Gwen created a charitable remainder annuity trust. For a set term of years, they will receive annuity payments and, at the end of the term, they designated the remainder to establish the Gwen and James Fountain Faculty Development Fund. The fund will encourage and sustain faculty excellence in science and mathematics, including the support of faculty sabbaticals, conference presentations, and independent research.
"We both have connections to the sciences and math," says Gwen, who majored in economics while Jim majored in chemistry. She adds, "This is part of what you do to give back so others can have the same experience."
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