Kalamazoo College receives $5M donation

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Robert Kopecky. Courtesy Kalamazoo College

A Kalamazoo College alum donated a $5 million gift to the college’s Brighter Light Campaign.

The donation came courtesy Robert Kopecky, who graduated from the college in 1972. The money will establish the Ervin J. and Violet A. Kopecky Endowed Scholarship Fund, named after Kopecky’s parents, and the Robert J. Kopecky ’72 Endowed Study Abroad Fund, as well as other study abroad funding, current-use scholarships and the Kalamazoo College Fund.

The funds also will support Advancing Kalamazoo College: A Strategic Vision for 2023, by providing need-based scholarships and awards to expand student access to all aspects of a Kalamazoo College education.

“Through my life after leaving Kalamazoo College, I have had an ever-increasing appreciation for the value of liberal arts education,” Kopecky said. “I wanted to help the college make that educational opportunity available to students with limited economic resources and to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate fully in the study abroad program, which is such an essential part of the K College experience.”

While at Kalamazoo College, Kopecky studied abroad for six months in Nairobi, Kenya, and he also traveled to Tanzania, Malawi and South Africa. After graduating, Kopecky earned his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and went on to become a practicing attorney at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago for 40 years.

He has tried cases in state and federal courts, federal appellate courts, the state supreme courts and the federal Supreme Court.

Kopecky has donated to Kalamazoo College’s Center for International Programs before. He is a member of the school’s board of trustees, where he serves on its risk review committee.

“Our goal as an institution is for talented students to be able to choose K regardless of their financial need and for students to be able to participate fully in all aspects of K’s experiential education,” said President Jorge Gonzalez. “We could not be more grateful to Bob, whose generous gift will be opening doors for students for generations to come.”

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