"I was the first member of my family to go to college and that has had an enormous impact on my life," says Dr. Owen Faut '58. "Muhlenberg provided me with the foundation to go on to graduate school and led the way to my career in chemistry."
A number of years ago, Dr. Faut started an IRA and named Muhlenberg as the contingent beneficiary. Now, as he approaches the age where he is required to take distributions, he and his wife, Claire Gehrig Faut '61 (a member of Muhlenberg's first co-ed class), have designated the fund as a gift toward the College's endowment.
Dr. Faut describes his education at Muhlenberg as "top of the line," particularly instructor Dr. Harry Raub and his "Atomic and Nuclear Physics" class. "He was tough—and I loved it."
That being said, Dr. Faut is convinced that Raub once hid a magnet under one of the desks to deliberately stump the class as they measured the charge of the electron. "He never admitted it," laughs Dr. Faut. "Once, a few years ago, I pressed him to confess. All he would say is, 'It has been known to happen.'"
Dr. Faut credits Dr. Charles Mortimer with cementing his desire to become a chemist, and Dr. Russell Smart with giving him opportunities to attend local meetings of the American Chemical Society.
As a student, Dr. Faut also served as photographer for the student newspaper, was a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. He went on to earn his Ph.D. from MIT and taught at Wilkes University for 33 years.
Now a seasoned chemist who has devoted his career to higher education, Dr. Faut understands the importance of giving back to his alma mater in a way that will benefit Muhlenberg as a whole.
"Certainly I could designate the money to a scholarship," he says. "But I've been in the education game a long time, and I know that colleges need funds to allocate where they see fit."
"I know I can trust Muhlenberg to continue the tradition of excellence I experienced as a student."
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