Roy and Mae Harrison Karro
A couple's 'longstanding generosity' lives on
Long known for its success in sending aspiring doctors to medical school, Albion College announced in early 2011 a new gift to support those students. The Roy G. Karro Trust funded a $1.25-million endowment to establish the Roy and Mae Harrison Karro Scholarship, intended for students planning a career in medicine.
Mae Karro was a 1931 Albion College graduate. In her memory, her husband, Roy Karro, also provided the funding for construction of the Mae Harrison Karro Village, a College-owned apartment complex which opened in 2001.
"The Karros' longstanding generosity to Albion represents a significant investment in our students’ education," said President Donna Randall. "We at Albion College are deeply appreciative of this new endowed scholarship gift, which will continue to assist students long into the future."
Along with providing up to two years' full tuition, the scholarship includes room and board during the recipient’s senior year if living in the Mae Harrison Karro Village.
“Roy and Mae appreciated the difference that a college education had made in their own lives, and they wanted to make similar opportunities available to students today," said Linda Renich, the Karro Trust’s executor and a longtime caregiver for the Karros. "During his visits to campus in recent years, Roy was so impressed with the talent and enthusiasm he saw in Albion’s students. Establishing this scholarship was one way he and Mae could make a meaningful impact in these young people's lives and encourage them to achieve their goals."
While a student at Albion College, Mae Karro majored in literary studies and was involved in Greek-letter organizations and women's intramural athletics. Following her graduation, she became a teacher and then went on to establish a successful real estate agency. She and her husband, a financier who retired in 1999 from Salomon Smith Barney, lived in Southfield, Mich.
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Casper 'Cap' Uldriks, '73
A future gift for philosophy studies
Most Albion alumni have at least one unforgettable moment from their student days: meeting a spouse or lifelong friend, discovering a true passion, having a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Casper “Cap” Uldriks, ’73, looks back on many influential moments spent in class with faculty who challenged him to look differently at the world and to explore some of life’s big questions in new ways. But over the years, he has also remembered another singular moment--sitting on the Quad one night conversing with a fellow student. The young woman explained that her family situation had changed, and she could not afford to return to Albion the following fall.
“The most I could do was give her a hug—it has always stuck with me, that feeling that I couldn’t do anything to help her,” Cap says. “That’s why I want to give my estate to Albion. If what I’m doing can help someone in need, I feel good about that.”
Through his estate plan, he has created the Casper E. Uldriks Philosophy Scholarship, providing critical financial support for junior and senior students who are pursuing the major that has had a great impact on his life. His future gift will establish an endowment that will fund the scholarship in perpetuity.
“I appreciated the fact that, at Albion, the Philosophy Department connected our studies to the real world,” Cap says. An honors graduate, he recalls that the department and particularly his adviser, Jack Padgett, were “inspirational,” encouraging him to explore his interests in both Freudian psychology and existentialism. Padgett was instrumental in motivating Cap to earn a master of divinity degree at Boston University, after which he earned a law degree at Suffolk University. For him, philosophy, theology, and law point to what’s good, humanly possible, and fair.
Prior to serving in his current position as counsel at the Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz law firm in Washington, D.C., Cap worked as the associate director for regulatory guidance and government affairs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. He spent over 30 years at the FDA, holding many positions related to the approval of newly developed medical devices. While at the FDA, Cap was instrumental in the implementation of numerous amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act including the Safe Medical Devices Act.
Cap also served as an FDA field investigator, and notes that he and his FDA colleagues made decisions on a daily basis that could have a significant impact in people’s lives. Asking one question was enough, he says. “Would I want this medical product used on my family?” Safeguarding the public’s health was always paramount, he adds. “We all felt that we were doing something for the benefit of the public with some real social value.”
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Justin Sleight, '43
The Sleight Leadership Fellows Program
Justin Sleight has enthusiastically supported the College since his graduation from Albion in 1943. He recognizes that support needs to come from many places in order to make a College function properly, and as part of his contribution to Albion, he has played a primary role in the funding of the Sleight Leadership Fellows Program.
Sleight was inspired by his brother to start the program after they discussed the need for students to learn how to become leaders, something that can’t be taught out of a book. The two-part program hinges on academics and community involvement. Academically, the focus is on professors to try to teach leadership in a classroom through experience and example. The students involved in the program are then heavily encouraged to participate in community volunteer and leadership positions. In January 2011, a group of 16 students did just that for a week in Detroit.
The Sleight family has wholeheartedly followed in the footsteps of others who have given back to Albion to enrich the collegiate experience for many students.
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The Class of 1961
The importance of reciprocating
As members of the Albion College Class of 1961, Dr. Glenn Corliss and Dr. Dick Swain have come together to discuss ways in which they can give back to their alma mater. Both were supported by scholarships throughout their college careers, and, says Dr. Corliss, "I want to express my appreciation by making it possible for some of today's students to be awarded with scholarships."
Dr. Swain agrees, recognizing that he, too, depended on scholarships in order to complete his degree at Albion. He says he wants to make sure the same opportunity is granted to current students striving to reach the same goals.
Inspiration for the Class of 1961 Scholarship has come from many different places, but for Dr. Corliss it comes from his grandmother. He remembers her steadfast Christian faith, and her belief that you can never be too generous when someone is in need. Dr. Corliss wants not only to continue the legacy of his grandmother, but also, along with his classmates, the legacy of Albion College's Class of '61.
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