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Chapmans donate $1.5 million to IPFW scholars program

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:01 am

IPFW announced Tuesday afternoon that Howard and Betsy Chapman have given IPFW $1 million to support the Chapman Scholars program and another $500,000 to create an Honors Program space for the students.

The new honors space will be created in the library with a $500,000 match from IPFW. The Chapman scholarship program admits four students on full-ride scholarships every four years. Chancellor Vicky Carwein said the donation would set them on a new path for the academic future. They admitted the first class in 2009 and graduated the first class in 2013. The first four Chapman scholars finished in four years and two have graduated in three years. Carwein said IPFW is extremely grateful for the support the Chapmans continue to give it.

“Every one of those first six graduates is going on to graduate school,” Carwein said.

The donation is in addition to an existing $3 million pledge from the Chapmans and will continue to support the Chapman Scholars Program. The Chapmans designed the program to fund the students while they work on academics, do community engagement and experimental opportunities as well as serving their needs in the honors program.

“I benefited from higher education," Howard Chapman said. "My wife has benefited from higher education. It is traditional in my family; my father is a lawyer, his son is a lawyer, and my son is a lawyer. Her family are all well-educated people. I think we have just seen in our own experience just how important higher education is. And so we wanted to be sure we helped to provide that opportunity for special students, and we want to make sure that they become involved in Fort Wayne in such a way that they are a part of it and it knows they are a part of it.” .

The donation will bring the total amount the Chapmans have given to the university to over $7 million. Several years ago they also endowed a chair in the English department, which is the department that Betsy Chapman graduated from.

As a part of the presentation one of the current scholars shared his thoughts about the opportunities he has been given through the Chapmans' scholarship program at IPFW. Srikanth Dasari, a premed student who is currently taking a load of 23 credit hours, said his parents had offered him the opportunity to study in India for medical school, noting it would take less time and possibly offer more opportunities. Dasari opted to stay in Fort Wayne and take advantage of the Chapman Scholars Program.

“The time that you have spent with us, through the dinners and the passing by in the hallways and at events has been incredibly touching. I don't have much family here besides my immediate family, and you and Betsy have been my grandparents. So I want you to know, we are trying to hold up the pillars of the Chapman program for you, and I hope that in the future you are a part of this university. We love you,” Dasari said.