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When Nancy Corter Bowers ’70 entered Lycoming College in the fall of 1966, her brother, Ronald Corter ’66, had just graduated from Lycoming, so their parents were facing four more years of college expenses. “Loans, scholarships, and being accepted into the Scholar Program at the end of my freshman year were major aids in meeting those expenses,” Nancy recalls. “My longtime annual fund donations are one way to thank the College for the financial support I received as a student.”
Nancy and her husband, Bob, engaged in several discussions with Robb Dietrich, senior director of major and planned gifts at Lycoming, about the feasibility of establishing a charitable gift annuity (CGA). Since they were already committed annual fund donors, had given qualified charitable donations from an IRA, and supported the Krapf Gateway Center, they decided that a CGA — which provides funds for the College and quarterly returns with tax advantages for them — was a logical next step and “win-win situation.”
“Establishing a charitable gift annuity provides a steady income for our lifetime while also providing the College with a gift,” explains Nancy. “Every other donation we have given was beneficial for tax purposes, but did not provide quarterly installment payments, which one might think of as an ‘allowance’ to yourself! With current interest rates decreased by the pandemic, our decision was very timely. We will consider future gift annuities for Lycoming College.”
Established in December 2019, the Bowers’ CGA designates support toward a scholarship for a student majoring in mathematics and/or a student pursuing a certification in education.
Nancy majored in mathematics and religion, graduating summa cum laude. She remembers Lycoming for the outstanding professors and small classes where the professors knew each student by name. During her junior year, Dr. Charles Getchell asked her to lead study groups for his class, and that was the beginning of her interest in teaching. “That experience helped me receive a teaching assistantship at Penn State.” The combination of degrees and experience led her back to Lycoming two years after graduation when she enrolled in education courses and student taught to receive secondary education certification in mathematics, having taught one course at Lycoming while working on her master’s thesis in educational psychology with an emphasis in statistics at Penn State.
Nancy’s career as an educator spanned 37 years. She taught mathematics for nine years in grades seven through twelve for the Williamsport Area School District, where she would encounter bright, ambitious students who would often say to her, “There is no way I can afford to go to college.”
After a year of leave from teaching for the birth of her daughter, Susan, who is now a civil engineer, Nancy became a faculty member at the Williamsport Area Community College, now the Pennsylvania College of Technology, where she would then hear students say, “There is no way I can afford to stay in college.” Advising students about the many funding options to pursue was an important part of her job outside of the classroom.
“In the classroom, there is nothing more satisfying than hearing from students or seeing in their eyes that they actually understand the material, especially when mathematics is feared by so many,” she continues. “Bob and I spent many years teaching and voicing the importance of mathematics and education to many, many students. He worked 41 years at the Williamsport Area Community College and Penn College as a faculty member and an administrator. We both received the Master Teacher Award at Penn College, which recognizes one student-nominated individual annually for outstanding student instruction. Now that we are retired and our in-class contributions are over, we can continue contributing by financially supporting higher education in numerous ways at both Lycoming and Penn College.”
She concludes, “In this era of the pandemic and racial injustice demonstrations, higher education for everyone is critically important.”