Chemistry Professor's Planned Gift Will Help Fund Internships

Nate Bower"My goal is for my gift to go on growing over time to help students."
— Nate Bower, Chemistry Professor

Chemistry Professor Nate Bower sees firsthand the need for financial assistance to pay students for their summer research internships.

"Students in chemistry and biochemistry need to do internships to get valuable research experience for graduate school and careers. Simply completing the academic program isn't enough. The problem is, there's never enough grant money available to pay for all the internships, which can be limiting for students," said Bower. At CC, students can collaborate with faculty in a 10-week internship, pursuing either their own original research ideas or assisting their faculty mentor with his or her ongoing research.

So Bower decided to establish a "whole life" life insurance policy — naming Colorado College as the beneficiary — that will fund student-faculty research and summer internships.

While this particular mechanism for giving obviously benefits the college, it also benefits Bower. He gets a tax write-off for the insurance premiums he pays. So it's a win-win.

Bower, who has been teaching chemistry at Colorado College since 1977, earned his B.A. from the College of Wooster and Ph.D. from Oregon State. Bower said he has set up a similar arrangement for giving to the College of Wooster.

Bower was raised to value both saving and giving, and they have always been a part of his personal financial planning.

"In my family, I was raised to tithe, to set aside 10 percent right off the bat for charitable giving, and also to set aside 10 percent to save and invest for yourself. When you pull those out on the front end, and make your budget from the remainder, it makes it possible to do some interesting things," he said.

Not surprisingly, Bower is passionate about and personally invested in the power of education to change individual lives and also change the world. So that is where he likes to focus his charitable giving.

"H.G. Wells said 'Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe.' Looking at environmental problems in the world, etc., I believe that is as true as it's ever been. My goal is for my gift to go on growing over time to help students and help them make a difference in the world," said Bower.

He also recognizes that his own education happened, in part, because of others' charitable gifts, and wants to 'pay it forward.'

"Somebody did that for me, and I really appreciated it. I would like to provide that opportunity for somebody else."

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