Giving the Gift of a UofL Education

“Without UofL, there would have been no career.”

Photo of Milton Roggenkamp

Milton Roggenkamp

In 1946, when the University of Louisville was primarily a commuter school for Kentucky residents, Milton Roggenkamp, a U.S. Navy veteran (1942-1946), was unsure whether he would be admitted. “Although I resided in Indiana, UofL was convenient,” he recalls, “but the War had just finished, and universities were overwhelmed by returning vets.”

Ignoring naysayers, he applied to UofL, knowing that the GI Bill’s educational benefits were a way out of the “penury” existence that he and his new wife faced. Two weeks later Milt was granted admission, choosing to study chemistry because of a high school teacher who had instilled a love of science.

As a full-time student with a wife and young baby, Milt commuted 20 miles each way to classes in what he describes as “a rundown car that required repairs every weekend.” Each night, he came home to no indoor plumbing.

Focused and determined, he earned his undergrad degree in 28 months and was a finalist for the prestigious Woodcock Medal in UofL’s College of Arts and Sciences. Next came medical school and a fulfilling career in anatomic pathology and clinical pathology in Bradenton, Florida, before he returned to Lafayette, Indiana, where he practiced medicine until his retirement in 1992. “Without UofL,” he states, “there would have been no career.”

Married for 72 years to his high school sweetheart, Ruth I. Wenning, who passed away last year, Milt, along with Ruth, retained a deep commitment to their small Indiana hometowns.

To encourage rural Indiana students to aspire to careers in the S.T.E.M. fields, they created the Roggenkamp Scholarship Fund in the Natural Sciences at UofL, which will receive additional funding through their estate. Gifts from a revocable living trust and an IRA will likewise fund the Roggenkamp Fellowship in Molecular Biology, as well as the Roggenkamp Scholarship for Veterans Descendants. This latter fund is a tribute to Milt’s brother Norman, who was selected for the Air Force’s Officer Candidate training after one semester in the Speed School of Engineering and died when his plane was shot down over France.

Give to What Matters

Like Milton and Ruth, you can express your values while making a difference in the lives of UofL students. To learn how you can give the gift of education, contact the Office for Estate and Gift Planning at plannedgifts@louisville.edu or (502) 852-5051.