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08-19-2000

Former Clarkson Professor Establishes Endowed Medical Fund For Clarkson Faculty And Staff

Howard Lechler, Clarkson University class of 1948, remembered the time when the Clarkson community was there for him.  Now, he’s making sure that same community will be there for others.

Nearly 30 years after establishing a fund to help faculty in need, the Raleigh, N.C., resident has permanently endowed the fund.

The Howard Lechler ’48 Endowed Medical Assistance Fund at Clarkson University was established in April by Lechler and his wife, Mary Lou, to help provide financial assistance to Clarkson faculty and staff –as well as their immediate families— with extraordinary medical expenses not covered by insurance.

 “We are indebted to Mr. and Mrs. Lechler for their selfless act,” says Gwendolyn M. Mitchell, director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.  “Through Howard and Mary Lou Lechler’s extraordinary generosity, the Clarkson community that provided financial and moral support for Mr. Lechler will be able to offer that same support to others for many years to come.”

Lechler’s act of generosity stems from a similar act in 1952.  At the time, Lechler was a young member of the Civil Engineering faculty at what was then the Clarkson College of Technology. When his first wife (now deceased) became seriously ill, Lechler’s colleagues took up a collection to help him pay the huge medical bills.

So grateful was Lechler for the help that 20 years later he established the first Lechler Medical Assistance Fund to help Clarkson members and their families who faced the same financial emergencies that he had once faced.

In 1991, the original funding was depleted, and Lechler stepped in once again with a generous charitable contribution to restore the Fund, on the condition that it be broadened to help all permanent employees.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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