Alumni bequest brings varied interests together for maximum impact
The late Dr. Solon R. Cole illustrates how a single planned gift can create a far-reaching ripple effect of positive impact. (Photo courtesy of Dr. Harold T. Yamase)
June 18, 2013
Barbara Hayley uses dance performance to bring together various groups to better understand each other. Jordan Karubian transforms subsistence farmers in tropical rainforests into field researchers educating local communities about ecological conservation. Carol Whelan is training the next generation of educators to inspire children in classrooms.
While their research is different, these three professors share something in common: a benefactor whose bequest is fueling innovative interdisciplinary educational programming at Tulane University.
Dr. Solon R. Cole (A&S ’59, M ’62), a pulmonary pathologist practicing in Hartford, Conn., passed away in 2008. His will was written in 2005 before new programs of civic engagement and social entrepreneurship would become important initiatives at Tulane in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A researcher himself who published widely on pulmonary disease, Dr. Cole enjoyed sharing his knowledge and expertise with pathology residents at Hartford Hospital and medical students at University of Connecticut School of Medicine. To honor Dr. Cole’s memory, the majority of his unrestricted bequest was divided among several endowed professorships.
“The Cole bequest will not only benefit the professors who hold these faculty positions, but also the students they will teach and the individuals whose lives will be changed by the entrepreneurial endeavors of their students,” says Beth Turner, executive director of gift planning.
The Cole Fellows illustrate how a single planned gift can create a far-reaching ripple effect of positive impact.
Through their innovative research, the current Cole Fellows are making waves in communities here in New Orleans and around the world. Each of these professorships was paired with a generous naming gift from other donors, and three have received a match from the Louisiana Board of Regents.
Paul Tudor Jones II Professor Carol Whelan is a professor of practice in the Tulane Teacher Preparation and Certification Program at Newcomb-Tulane College. Kylene and Brad Beers Professor I Jordan Karubian is an assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology in the School of Science and Engineering. Kylene and Brad Beers Professor II Barbara Hayley is a professor of dance in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Together they form a collaborative team working to develop a social entrepreneurship coordinate major and pioneer efforts to stimulate social innovation in the region. Dr. Cole’s generosity is helping the professors promote social entrepreneurship through classes and workshops, embark on new research and encourage students to innovate for the betterment of their communities.
“This is a great program and a wonderful use of the gift for both Tulane and communities in New Orleans and elsewhere,” says Dr. Harold T. Yamase, the executor of Dr. Cole’s estate.
Matt Roberts is a writer in the Office of Development.
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