Meet Our Donors
We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Charles Stopp '70
When Attorney Charles Stopp '70 first came to Kutztown in the fall of 1966, he says it was, "Initially somewhat intimidating, my having come from a small town and a rural high school background," but, he adds, "those feelings quickly subsided because of the nurturing and friendly atmosphere." After graduating from KU in 1970 with a degree in Secondary Education with a focus on History, Charles spent time in the Army before returning to school to obtain his J.D. at Temple University's Beasley School of Law in 1975; all impressive accomplishments for someone just out of school. Currently a partner at Steckel and Stopp, a law firm with four offices throughout the Lehigh Valley, Charles says, regarding his time as an undergraduate student, "The education I received at Kutztown provided a springboard to further a professional and business career."
In reflecting upon his time at Kutztown, Charles regards the university with feelings of gratitude. "I feel personally indebted to the university for having provided a quality education and quality experience at a price that was affordable. Kutztown University provided opportunities that would not have otherwise been available. And the friendships and connections I developed while at the university are enduring."
It was through those friendships that Charles first became philanthropically involved with KU. "In the early years following graduation, I maintained contacts with classmates and then, a number of years later, I was asked by the president to serve on the Kutztown University Foundation Board. That gave me an awareness of the many philanthropic opportunities available as well as the cultural and educational programs." Charles served on the KU Foundation Board until 2001, and, as of July 2011, has generously volunteered his time once again as a board member.
Charles and his wife, Mrs. Barbara Stopp, have contributed to the university in a number of ways, not only by volunteering their time to serve as advocates and stewards for the university, but also by contributing to the Community Scholars program, which provided funds for book awards and other resources for students, and by giving to the capital campaign, Setting the Stage, the Campaign for Kutztown University.
Charles and Barbara are also members of the Old Main Society, having made a gift to the university through a deferred gift annuity in the form of a three-acre building lot. Charles says that one of the reasons why he and Barbara chose to make a planned gift was because they knew they wanted to provide economic benefits to the university and the foundation. "Gift annuities are such a simple and effective way of meeting so many goals, particularly philanthropic goals," he says. "The rewards are significant." In making a planned gift, Charles said that one of the factors behind the decision was, "Eternal gratitude to the university for opportunities provided as well as the satisfaction of helping the university fulfill its mission."
When asked what message he might have for others who are considering supporting the university in a similar way, Charles stresses the importance and benefits of working cooperatively with KU. "By not taking the opportunity to act in a philanthropic way," he says, "one would unfortunately miss out on the satisfaction of assisting the university and its students in all of the good work it provides—particularly to very talented students of modest economic means."