Service to Country and Others
It’s impossible to spend time with Tim and Nancy Pifer without sensing how deeply they value commitment and service. Although both have retired from the U.S. Army as Lieutenant Colonels (Nancy after 24 years of active duty and Tim after 22 years), their lives continue to be characterized by service to country and to others.
Among their special interests is the University of Louisville’s Army ROTC Alumni Council, chartered in 2014 under the Pifers’ leadership, to promote awareness and goodwill on behalf of the University’s Army ROTC Department of Military Science. Tim currently serves as the Council’s president, and Nancy as its secretary/treasurer. This past year, the Council’s 154 members played a substantial role in the renovation of the ROTC gym in Dougherty Hall. In recognition of this accomplishment, the UofL Alumni Association named Tim and Nancy as 2017-2018 Council Volunteers of the Year.
Tim, who grew up in Cameron, West Virginia, and Nancy, who was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, met in 1996 while attending the Joint Warfare Course in Norfolk, Virginia. Nancy, a career military intelligence officer, sought out ROTC during the challenging economy of the 1970s. Tim, who returned during deployment with the Allied Command to Sarajevo, had joined ROTC with the original goal of learning to rappel. With the exception of their time in Norfolk, they had a long-distance relationship until Nancy retired in 2003.
Retirement has provided the opportunity to do many things together, while also pursuing their separate interests. Nancy recently finished an Associate Degree in Culinary Science and devotes time to community agriculture; Tim completed an M.A. in History, as well as an M.S. in Library Science. In appreciation of UofL’s Department of History faculty, particularly Professor Benjamin Harrison and Professor Thomas Mackey, who were on Tim’s thesis committee, Tim and Nancy have established the Pifer Endowed Scholarship Fund to assist undergraduate history students. Their preference is for the scholarship to be awarded to students coming from rural communities.
While the majority of the scholarship funds will come to UofL through the remainder of their revocable living trusts, the Pifers have begun to fund the scholarship now and take tremendous joy from interacting with each year’s recipient. They state, “We both come from humble backgrounds, and we feel fortunate with the wonderful lives we now have. We feel it is our duty to give something back.”
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