After earning a bachelor's degree in political science and economics at Park in 1949, G. Ross Stephens, Ph.D., spent a career in political science and public administration. When he retired from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1992, Professor Stephens wanted to provide funds to support professional development for Park faculty.
"I know from years of experience in academia that funding for professional development is a constant need," he says. "It's important for faculty—and consequently their students—to continuously expand their knowledge through research and conference participation." Professor Stephens knows firsthand that learning and research often happen outside the classroom-he has been doing both constantly in the twenty years since he retired from teaching.
The professor has now contributed a total of $40,000 to Park in the form of a charitable gift annuity, which transferred capital to the university while providing him with a lifetime source of income, partially exempt from income tax. After Professor Stephens' lifetime, the remainder of the annuity will become a fund to support professional activities of full-time Park faculty teaching political science and/or public administration.
"It's more valuable than ever to have a well-rounded education to understand our ever changing world," Professor Stephens says. "My education at Park provided a solid foundation for my future academic career."