Best and brightest

October 8, 2008

Howard Chapman has written guest columns for us for nearly 20 years. Judging only by his writing and several talks on the phone with him over the years, I’d judge him as a nice man with a wide-ranging curiosity. Now, he’s gone and done something spectacular:

When we say the best and brightest we mean that quite literally,” said William McKinney, IPFW vice chancellor for academic affairs, at the announcement about the new Chapman Scholars Program, which will begin in fall 2009.

Incoming freshmen who meet rigorous academic standards and show exceptional leadership and problem-solving skills will be eligible for a four-year, full-ride scholarship that includes tuition, fees, room, board and textbooks.

[. . .]

The program is named for donors Howard and Betsy Chapman, who set up the endowment.

“Hopefully, it’s going to go on forever … long after we’re gone,” said Howard Chapman.

The Chapmans have a long standing in Fort Wayne – Betsy, native-born and a 1974 IPFW graduate, and Howard, a city lawyer for more than 50 years – and wanted to give back to the campus that has shown so much growth over the years, they said. Over lunch with the chancellor, it was decided.

Speaking parochially, I’d probably like it more if the four full-ride scholarships a year went to the local best and brightest. But promoting excellence is such a novel idea these days that it seems churlish to quibble. Way to go, Howard.

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