Slide Rule, Speed School and Lasting Impact
The Story of the Bratcher Scholarship Endowment
"Learn to use a slide rule," the Chemistry professor said to 21-year-old Alice Ramer Rice, an employee of the Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corporation taking an evening course at the University of Louisville. After obtaining a slide rule, Alice received coaching from the nephew of a B&W co-worker.
"Collen ‘Dale' Bratcher, a graduate of UofL's Speed Scientific School, gave me two five-minute drills on the slide rule...and eventually gave me an engagement ring," Alice recalls.
Rooted in their courtship was an appreciation for both Speed School as well as Cardinal Athletics.
For Dale and Alice, married for 56 years, the idea of a legacy gift emerged from their shared love of UofL, as well as from Dale's involvement with the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE), where Alice was an active member of the Auxiliary. KSPE's Louisville Chapter and Auxiliary endowed a scholarship at the Speed School.
When Dale became ill, it was time to translate idea to action. Choosing to merge their affinity for Speed School and UofL Athletics, they made a commitment to establish the Dale and Alice Bratcher Speed School of Engineering Student-Athlete Scholarship Endowment through their estate.
"With no children, this is our way of helping the youth of the future," Alice notes.
Since Dale's passing, Alice has set up a gift that pays income, or a charitable gift annuity, which will eventually funnel into the scholarship endowment. She has also set up a "current-use" fund for scholarship awards during her life and begun to fund the endowment corpus.
"This way," she says, "the plans my husband and I made are already being put into action during my lifetime."
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