Over the years, CSM President Dr. Brad Gottfried and his wife, Linda, left, have established annual scholarships for students at the College of Southern Maryland. Particularly satisfying for the Gottfrieds has been the opportunity to connect with their scholarship recipients, such as Emma Ansell, right, during an annual reception that brings students and donors together for an evening.
LA PLATA, Md. (April 5, 2016)—College of Southern Maryland President Dr. Brad Gottfried and his wife, Linda, have a passion for education that they want to carry forward to future generations. Although the Gottfrieds invest in both an annual and an endowed scholarship fund at CSM every year, they want to ensure their financial support not only provides scholarships for current students but also impacts generations of students that they will never meet.
Their aspirations are being realized by making a leadership gift of $110,000 in cash and a deferred gift to the CSM Foundation as part of its $10 million "Make An Impact Campaign." Of their gift, $10,000 is directed to their annual scholarship with the remainder to be directed to the Bradley and Linda Gottfried Endowment Fund as part of their Living Trust to the CSM Foundation.
In creating opportunities for students that will reach far beyond their lifetimes, Linda Gottfried in quoting the Greek proverb of "A society grows great when men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in," said, "That's what we are doing. We're planting a tree (whose shade we're never going to sit in) but somebody will, and they'll benefit from the scholarship money and go on to do great things. It's a gift that keeps giving."
Previously, Brad and Linda Gottfried have established Against All Odds annual and endowed scholarships at CSM to support students who are overcoming personal challenges, followed by their establishing an art scholarship to help art majors with tuition and supplies for their myriad of projects.
"As president of this college for 10 years, I'm out in the community regularly. I know the students. I know what their dreams and aspirations are and I know so many of them just are not able to get an education," said Brad Gottfried. "So for Linda and me, it's giving back to the community. It's helping individuals who really want an education to be able to afford an education. You can't take your money with you, so it makes perfect sense for us to leave a legacy for the college and for the community."
Both are success stories of community colleges, with Linda Gottfried attending Bergen County Community College in New Jersey and Brad Gottfried, Montgomery Community College in Pennsylvania. "I started my college career at my local community college," said Brad Gottfried. "Being associated with colleges for over 40 years, I see so many individuals in the community who aren't [in college] because of personal circumstances. If I can help any individual to get an education—that resonates with me, that other individuals will benefit and get an education that they would not have been able to otherwise."
Particularly satisfying for the Gottfrieds has been the opportunity to connect with their scholarship recipients during annual scholarship receptions that bring students and donors together for an evening. "To see these students go beyond their hardship and moving forward, you just want to give them a hug," said Brad Gottfried. "It's not just the money, although that's important, but it's their knowing that someone cares about them, cares about their future, and they are so grateful. Having someone believe in you, that's a vote of confidence."
Linda Gottfried agrees. "As they say, 'It's better to give than receive,' it's really true. All you have to do is see [the students] at the scholarship ceremony and you know it. That's the best part about giving. It's meeting those students face-to-face, seeing how this is changing their life," she said. "The second greatest moment is graduation, when you go to commencement and you see somebody that was sitting at the scholarship table with you and then you see them graduating. I would pay 10 times what we give just for that moment."
In making their leadership gift to CSM, the Gottfrieds are encouraging the larger community to also consider the Impact Campaign as a way to invest today to transform tomorrow. "What do you want to be remembered for? What do you want to leave for future generations? We're leaving a legacy that will go on for generations," said Brad Gottfried. "We are planning for the future as well as paying for the here-and-now. Through our current scholarships we are giving two to four scholarships a year. The endowment will continue when we pass and the interest will go to pay for scholarships, letting us direct our money to something we both believe in."
"Even after we are gone it's as if we're still both doing the work, we're still providing the education, we're still encouraging the against all odds students, the arts students. We're doing something that goes far beyond this plane," said Linda Gottfried.
CSM's Impact Campaign is a transformative three-year outreach and fundraising effort that will culminate in 2018 with the college's 60th anniversary. "Make Your Impact: Invest Today to Transform Tomorrow" addresses access, affordability and achievement by ensuring that degree programs and career training are available to everyone through scholarships, that high caliber programs, facilities and technology are accessible, and that strategic partnerships and innovation are created and sustained in the community.
"The public launch of the campaign is planned for this fall," said Vice President of Advancement Michelle Goodwin. "The CSM Foundation and our employees look forward to reaching out to alumni, supporters and friends to help keep CSM affordable and accessible and the best value in higher education, career training and personal enrichment for the people of Southern Maryland."
As part of the Gottfrieds' Impact Campaign gift, the Center for Business and Industry Conference Room 104 and the Business Building first floor lobby located on the La Plata Campus will be named in their honor. For information on the Impact campaign initiatives, naming opportunities and more, visit http://IMPACT.csmd.edu or call the CSM Foundation at 301-934-7649.