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Last updated: Tue. Aug. 26, 2014 - 09:46 am EDT

$3.4 million donation will provide scholarships for future IPFW students


A $3.4 million bequest from two hard-working people with an interest in education will make it possible for IPFW to help more young people pursue a college degree.

The Office of Advancement at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne announced the donation Monday from the estate of the late Oscar and Ophelia Weitzman of Fort Wayne.

“Through this gift, Oscar and Ophelia created a living legacy that shows their dedication to the value and importance of higher education,” Wendy Kobler, IPFW's vice chancellor for advancement, said in a university news release.

The Weitzmans donated their entire estate to IPFW, the news release said.

Each year, IPFW will use 5 percent of the interest earned on the total to provide at least two full-ride, four-year scholarships to needy students, Kobler said. One scholarship will be for a student pursuing a degree in engineering, and the second to a student seeking a degree in education.

Oscar Weitzman, who was born about 1891, lived in Fort Wayne his entire life, the news release said. He started working for General Electric at age 13, earning 7 cents per hour. He gradually rose through the ranks at GE to become head of the apprenticeship school and to lead a sales team.

Weitzman worked at GE for more than 49 years. He died in 1989 at age 98.

Ophelia Weitzman taught in the Fort Wayne Community Schools district for 19 years before retiring in 1958. She earned a bachelor's degree in 1940 and a master's degree in 1948, both from Indiana University.

She and Oscar were married for 30 years. She died Dec. 26, 2012, at age 93.

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