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Planned Giving

Maximizing Impact: William Weber '39

Donor William Weber

The dining hall was in the basement of Trowbridge, where student waiters served their fellow classmates, and Washington's Birthday banquet was the big social event of the year. Bill shared these memories with Jim Van Sweden, Director of College Communication, in a 2009 interview. The differences between then and now may bring a smile to the face, but Bill's K education remained relevant throughout his lifetime.

When Bill began to think about how he wanted to support Kalamazoo College, he knew he wanted to find a way to impact multiple students. Though he majored in physics, he chose to support the social sciences.

Donor William Weber

Bill meets with Justin Brooks, the 2010 Weber Lecturer, law professor at California Western School of Law, and Director of the California Innocence Project, a law school clinical program dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people and teaching students to become excellent lawyers.

"K is a liberal arts college," Bill said, seeing the importance of exposing students to different fields and recognizing how that same process influenced him personally. "I want to promote discussion about the government and the applications of practical politics."

Sadly, Bill passed away in June 2012. Through several gifts in his lifetime and through his estate, Bill established the Weber Professorship in Social Sciences at Kalamazoo College. By supporting a growing area of personal interest, Bill found his gift could also assist the College in a way that would benefit students for generations to come.

"Politics so deeply influence nearly all aspects of our lives and fortunes, public and private," Bill asserted.

The intentions of his initial commitment are being realized through the endowment of the Weber Professorship by the remainder of his estate. Another fund that he formed through his giving—the William Weber Lectures in Government and Society—brings to campus nationally known scholars in the social sciences, from varying political leanings and backgrounds, to ignite a dialogue and foster critical thinking within the College community.

Each year, Bill returned to campus from his home in Tacoma, Wash., to attend the lecture and to be part of the energy it created. His example of engaged citizenry will be amplified throughout future generations because of his generosity.

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